If you are getting Invisalign in Apex but you also play a contact sport like hockey, soccer, football, or basketball, you may be wondering if you will be able to wear a mouthguard while you correct the position of your teeth with Invisalign. Find out now in this guide from Cardinal Family Dentistry, and get a few top tips from Dr. Sarah S. Barker.
Invisalign is meant to fit perfectly over your teeth, shifting them into the proper position. Similarly, sports mouthguards are designed to cup and cover your teeth, fitting closely against them to cushion and pad them and prevent injuries if you’re struck in the mouth while playing sports.
Because of this, they are incompatible with each other. You can’t (and shouldn’t) wear a sports mouthguard over your Invisalign aligners. This would be very bulky, uncomfortable, and impractical. You need to wear one or the other.
There’s good news, though. Typically, you only need to wear your Invisalign aligners for about 20-22 hours per day. They can be removed to brush and floss and to eat and drink, and also when you play contact sports.
So, as long as you are still wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours per day, you can pop them out and put in your sports mouthguard before practice or a game, and ensure your smile remains healthy and strong.
One complication of wearing an athletic mouthguard with Invisalign is that your teeth will constantly be moving throughout the Invisalign process.
If, for example, you have a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard made before your Invisalign treatment, it will no longer fit properly after 1-2 months of Invisalign treatment, and it could feel uncomfortable or it may not even fit over your teeth, since they have changed their position.
For Invisalign patients, we recommend buying “boil and bite” mouthguards. These mouthguards consist of thermally-reactive plastic. You heat them up in boiling water, then put them in your mouth and bite down to create a bite imprint and fit the mouthguard to your teeth.
This process can be repeated every month or so to reshape the mouthguard again, and make sure it fits properly and gives you adequate protection. Boil and bite mouthguards don’t provide quite as much protection as a custom mouthguard, but are the best option while your teeth are moving.
Once your Invisalign treatment is over, you’ll get a retainer, and your teeth will no longer move. At this time, you should get a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard from Dr. Sarah Barker.
Custom mouthguards do not restrict breathing, feel more comfortable, and provide superior protection, since they can be built from a blend of soft and hard plastics. You will be able to wear a custom mouthguard for years to come, too, since they are very durable and your teeth will no longer be moving due to Invisalign treatment.
The team at Cardinal Family Dentistry is always ready to provide you with the dental care you need in Apex, New Hill, Cary, or Holly Springs. If you’re interested in Invisalign treatment, or you’ve recently had Invisalign and need a new mouthguard, Dr. Barker is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (919) 589-5001 to schedule a consultation right away.