Can Orthodontic Aligners Double as Mouth Guards?


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Dear Dr. Barakat,

Can I use my Invisalign aligners as a mouth guard for playing sports?


Dear Concerned Parent,

Invisalign aligners are designed to straighten your teeth rather than protect them from injury while you play sports. With Invisalign, it’s true that you don’t have to worry about sharp brackets cutting into your mouth if you take a blow to the face. But the rule of thumb is that if your sport requires a mouth guard, you take out your aligners and put the mouth guard in.

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Also, by design, Invisalign trays are not meant to protect teeth like a mouthguard. While a mouth guard cushions the impact to your mouth, Invisalign does not. Also, if you were to wear your aligners on the field, you might easily lose them. Invisalign aligners do not protect you from injuring your teeth, tongue, or gums if you are hit in the face. A custom-made mouthguard is the level of protection you need — so that a stray football, tennis ball, or hockey puck doesn’t destroy all of your hard work in orthodontic treatment!

Since you need to wear your aligner trays as many hours as possible daily, one great tip is to store your aligner trays in your mouth guard case. That way, as soon as your game or match or practice ends, you can put the aligners right back in.


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children in giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect with them by visiting them online, or get social with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


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