As you know MMA training can be intense and if you mess up while holding pads you might get hit in the face. Most of the time this is no big deal, but what if you have braces at the time?
Can You Train MMA with Braces?
You can train MMA with braces; however, you will need to take steps to have the right protective equipment, such as a mouth guard, to keep your teeth and braces in good shape.
If you want to learn more about how to train MMA with braces, read on. We will discuss ways to protect your teeth and braces during training sessions and the equipment you will need to get.
Mouthguards Protect the Mouth and Teeth
Mouthguards are a piece of dental equipment that covers your teeth. People use mouthguards for a variety of reasons, ranging from teeth protection during sports to stopping teeth grinding at night. Mouthguards not only protect your teeth, but also your tongue, gums, and cheeks. They are popular with MMA athletes, whether they have braces or not.
When you shop for a mouthguard, you will have several options. These are the most widely available mouthguards:
- Custom: Custom-fitted mouthguards are available from your dentist. They will take an impression of your teeth to create a mouthguard that fits perfectly in your mouth. Custom mouthguards can be designed for your specific needs, whether it is sports or teeth grinding. They are the most expensive option, but your dental insurance may help.
- Stock: These mouthguards are a one-size fits all guard that you can get off the shelf at a drugstore. They are an economic choice, but since they are not designed to fit your teeth and mouth specifically, they often do not fit well. They can be bulky and can lead to breathing problems. These mouthguards are the least protective ones you can buy.
- Boil and Bite: Like stock mouthguards, boil and bite are easy to find in a drugstore or online. They are made from a special thermodynamic plastic that you can shape to your teeth. Using hot water, you soften the plastic and bite down on the mouthguard until it is the right shape. This type of mouthguard is a popular choice for athletes.
- Adjustable Over the Counter: Adjustable mouthguards are most commonly used during sleep to protect against teeth grinding. They rest between the teeth while you sleep. This design would not be a good choice for an athlete, as it would provide very little protection.
Mouthguards for sports generally fit only the top teeth. Since they usually stick out further than the bottom teeth they are at a greater risk for damage. (my.clevelandclinic.org)
Is it Okay to Wear a Mouthguard with Braces?
It is recommended to wear a mouthguard during sports if you have braces. This is especially true if you practice a martial art like MMA. The mouthguard will protect your braces, as well as your teeth and your mouth. Since braces are a big financial investment, you want to make sure you take care of them, as well as safeguard the progress you’ve made with them.
The best thing to do if you have braces is to consult your dentist. They will probably recommend getting a custom mouthguard. The good thing about these mouthguards is that they are remoldable, so as your teeth change with the braces, you can remold a mouthguard to your new bite shape.
Custom mouthguards are generally not included in the cost of braces, so you should budget for one separately. If a custom mouthguard is not financially feasible for you, you should use a boil and bite mouthguard to fit it as closely as possible to your teeth. You will need to make sure to remold the mouthguard every time you have a braces adjustment to be sure the fit is correct.
Do You Mold Your Mouthguard with Braces?
For the best fitting mouthguard, you want to make sure that you mold it with your braces. As stated above, you can do this with your dentist for a custom-fitted mouthguard or do it on your own by using a boil and bite mouthguard. Just remember to remold when your braces are adjusted.
It is important to mold your mouthguard with your braces rather than using a stock mouthguard or a mouthguard that you may have had before braces because you want the best fit you can get. If you use an ill-fitting mouthguard, you could damage your teeth and mouth, causing long-term problems.
A mouthguard that doesn’t fit properly can cause gum issues, including irritation that can lead to infection. As stated earlier, since a stock mouth guard doesn’t fit properly, it can be uncomfortable and lead to breathing problems. The last thing you want when you are training or fighting is to be short of breath. (gardensdental.com.au)
What Happens if You Get Punched with Braces?
Anybody who has seen a fight, whether in real life or in a movie, knows that being punched in the face can cause real damage. When you are punched in the mouth, several injuries can occur. These include:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Nerve damage in your teeth
- Broken jaw
- Cut and bruised cheeks
- Cut lip
- Cut tongue
Once the shock of being punched wears off, you will be in a lot of pain. This is just from a punch without braces.
Think about what braces are. Metal pieces stuck onto your teeth, you probably experience discomfort and pain on a daily basis from irritation. If you are punched while wearing braces, the metal can increase the damage to your lips and cheeks, cutting up the flesh more than bare teeth would.
The damage and pain from being punched in the face is why you should always wear a mouthguard. It acts as a shock absorber, directing the shock of the punch away from the mouth and teeth. The mouthguard protects your teeth from breaking and the inside of your mouth from the damage your braces could cause. It can also prevent damage to the braces themselves. (centralcoastorthodontics.com.au)
Best Mouthguard for Braces
The best type of mouthguard for MMA fighters with braces is a custom one from your dentist. They will be able to get the best fit and can work with you to remold it whenever you have an adjustment done to your braces. However, they can be expensive and your dental insurance may not cover the whole cost of the guard.
For those looking for an effective yet affordable alternative to a custom mouthguard, we recommend the boil and bite kind. With the boil and bite mouthguard, you can mold them at home to get a close fit. Here are a few we recommend:
- OPRO Power-Fit Braces Mouthguard – This guard is good for fighters with fixed braces and comes with an antimicrobial case.
- Under Armour Braces Mouthguard – This guard can be heated in the microwave for molding and can be refitted.
- Shock Doctor Double Braces Mouth Guard – This guard covers both upper and lower teeth and doesn’t require boiling for molding.
Don’t Let Braces Hold You Back
When you got your braces, you were probably given a list of things you couldn’t do and foods you couldn’t eat. It can feel like you cannot live life to the fullest while undergoing orthodontic treatment. The good news is that thanks to mouthguards, MMA doesn’t need to be an activity to avoid. Go out and train. Just make sure to have good mouth protection.