If you’re an athlete, you have some factors to consider when looking at orthodontic treatment. You want to be able to play your sport worry-free and you don’t want your treatment to get in the way of a winning season.
The great thing about modern-day orthodontics is you’ve got options. Two of the most popular choices for treatment today are braces and Invisalign. So, how do they stack up when it comes to athletics? Should athletes get braces or Invisalign? Let us break down the benefits of each, so that you can make the right decision.
Benefits of Invisalign for Athletes
One of the main worries athletes face is braces getting in the way of their sport. Invisalign treatment limits injuries, since they not only fit tightly against your teeth, but they’re also removeable. These clear plastic aligners can be removed during practice and games; however, it’s important to note that they do not need to be removed. The recommended amount of time that patients should wear Invisalign is 20-22 hours each day. So, to avoid delays in treatment, you may consider just leaving them in. If you do choose to remove them, be sure to replace them as soon as you can.
Another benefit of the snug fit of Invisalign is it prevents the aligners (if you’re wearing them during a game or at practice) from getting knocked loose from the teeth if you should get hit or jostled in a rough sport, like football. This helps prevent injuries and delays in treatment as well.
Another factor to consider is your mouthguard. Orthodontic mouthguards can be a bit cumbersome, allowing for the extra room taken up by braces. Because of this, some athletes with braces tend to skip out on wearing their mouthguard and end up with injuries. With Invisalign being removeable, you will be able to wear a mouthguard that may be less bulky without worry. Some mouthguards may even be worn right over your aligners also.
If you’re considering Invisalign, remember these key factors:
- The aligners are removable and clear
- Must be worn 20-22 hours each day
- Must be removed to eat or drink
- Can be removed when playing sports
- A less bulky mouthguard can be used
Benefits of Braces for Athletes
Since every athlete is unique, it’s understandable that some may choose braces over Invisalign. After all, you have the peace of mind that braces aren’t going to get lost since you can’t remove them! You’ll be working on that perfect smile, even during practice, but it’s important to be careful.
Since you can’t remove braces, it’s imperative to wear an orthodontic mouthguard that fits you properly. This helps to avoid injuries out on the field during practice and at game-time. Another benefit of having braces over Invisalign is you don’t need to worry about properly storing your aligners on the sidelines. After all, they need to be removed when you eat or drink anything and typically you’ll be sipping on water or gatorade, so there’s a good chance your aligners may get lost in the hustle and bustle of playing. With braces, you won’t have to worry about that.
If you’re considering braces, remember these key factors:
- Must be protected by an orthodontic mouthguard at practice and during games
- No need to worry about wearing braces for the recommended time each day
- No need to properly store your orthodontic equipment when you’re on the sidelines
Braces and Invisalign in Athletics
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the right treatment path for you and your needs. Keep these key things in mind and remember the end goal which is to achieve the best smile possible. There are benefits to both, so take a moment to lay out the pros and cons of each to make an informed decision you’re happy with and that doesn’t interfere with playing your favorite sport.
Let the experts at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists help you find the right treatment plan for you! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started today.