Should Athletes Use Invisalign or Braces?

For many people, picking out the right orthodontic treatment solution often boils down to their personal preferences or how crooked their teeth are. But athletes who participate in contact sports have a whole other factor to consider. If you participate in athletics, you’ll likely be wondering if it’s better to play sports with braces or Invisalign. Since both have their unique pros and cons, learning more about each option will help you decide which is right for you.

Playing Sports with Braces

When you start orthodontic treatment with braces, one of the most important goals you should make is to keep your orthodontic appliances in good condition. And if you play a sport like football, basketball, or anything else where contact is likely to occur, it’s understandable if you’re a bit apprehensive about getting braces.

After all, taking a blow to the face could result in serious damage to the brackets and wires, meaning you’ll need to schedule an emergency appointment to get them fixed. The metal braces can also sometimes cause additional damage to the gums, cheeks, or tongue during an impact as well.

Thankfully, preparing for playing sports with braces is pretty simple. You’ll want to get an orthodontic mouthguard from your orthodontist to create an effective bumper over your braces. This way, if an impact does occur, you’ll be less likely to experience damage to your mouth or braces.

Playing Sports with Invisalign

One of the main differences between playing sports with Invisalign compared to braces is that since your trays are removable and made of soft plastic, there won’t be any additional damage that occurs during an impact. Not to mention when you smile after your win, the victory shot will include your uncluttered smile.

But there are some trade-offs to having removable aligners while you participate in a sporting event. One of the main concerns is keeping your aligners safe. You’ll want to be sure to store them safely in their case during a practice or match so you don’t lose them. Make sure they’re kept away from heat in a place you won’t forget about them and that they don’t get mixed up with any of your teammates’ stuff.

You’ll also need to keep track of how long you wear your trays. To reach the end of your treatment on time, you need to have them in for at least 22 hours per day. If your practice and gameplay time adds up to more than an hour or two each day, you may want to still wear your aligners during practice to ensure your progress won’t be delayed.

For example, while taking your aligners out to play a football game once per week might not delay your treatment progress, a few basketball practices and games per week could slow you down. Either way, wearing a mouthguard will be essential in protecting your teeth.

To learn more about braces and Invisalign, and for help deciding which option is best for your active lifestyle, be sure to schedule your free consultation at Smith Orthodontics today!