In the past, when only braces were available for teeth correction, many of the people that wore them had to make major sacrifices. For instance, they couldn’t eat certain foods, were unable to play wind style instruments and were restricted in the sports they could engage in. However, the introduction of Invisalign changed everything.
Not only is Invisalign more aesthetically pleasing than metal braces, they are also easier to remove. In the past braces had to be worn even while you ate meals which meant that food would often get stuck and collect on them. Not only was this visually unattractive, it also made cleaning the mouth and braces more difficult. Just the same, braces cannot be removed while playing sports, and as a consequence those who wear them are usually barred from competing. Below are some ways Invisalign is different.
Sports Which Are Full Contact
Full contact sports like rugby, hockey, polo and American football can be aggressive. Those who play such sports while wearing aligners may have them accidentally removed or even damaged. For even more aggressive sports such as boxing, wrestling or martial arts, the aligners should not be worn at all. For these events it is best to remove them prior to competition or practice. When not in use the aligners should always be put in a sturdy case.
Those that play non-contact sports such as cycling, tennis or gymnastics can wear their aligners with much greater safety. The reason for this is because body contact with others is limited; however, even non-contact sports aren’t immune to jarring or impacts, but overall nothing overly traumatic is likely to occur within the jaw or mouth.
Gum Shields Or Mouth Guards
For sports that require you to wear a mouth guard or gum shield, you will simply want to remove your aligners prior to competing or practicing. Under no circumstances should Invisalign trays be worn with a mouth guard simultaneously. Some are tempted to avoid wearing a mouth guard completely, but in this case it is essential to remember the resources and time you’ve invested in your teeth and the type of damage they can sustain without it.
Removing Your Aligners For Extended Periods
There are often instances where amateur and professional athletes will need to remove their aligners regularly so that they can practice or engage in sports for extended periods of time. In this case you will want to discuss the situation with a dentist that specializes in Invisalign. The dentist will make recommendations regarding the frequency of removal and how it will affect the timetable of treatment. At minimum, the aligners must be worn for twenty two hours each day and should only be removed during meals. While many athletes won’t be able to follow a twenty two hour schedule, it means that their treatment will need to be extended from weeks to months.