What Types of Braces Should a Child-Athlete Wear?


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Dear Dr. Barakat,

Can my child play sports with braces? Is one type of braces better or worse for athletes?


Dear Concerned Parent,

Yes, children can absolutely play sports with braces. Since the type of braces your child is wearing was initially determined by their orthodontist to be the best means of treating the orthodontic issue, you can be assured that your orthodontist also knows the best way of protecting his/her teeth and braces.

Invisalign aligners are worn by teenagers playing sports act as protection for the soft tissues inside the mouth. For traditional types of braces, a mouthguard provides the best protection. One slogan used by the American Association of Orthodontists says it all: “What’s the best type of mouthguard? The one that’s worn.”

I advise parents of athletes to contact their orthodontist and ask which type of mouthguard is recommended for your child’s sports needs. The longest-wearing, most comfortable mouthguards are custom-made by orthodontists and dentists. These custom mouthguards may not be an option while in treatment; however, great options can be purchased at sporting goods stores. These mouth guards are very reasonably priced and are labeled specifically for braces. One such brand is Shock Doctor for braces.

Once you procure the right mouthguard for your child, it needs to be worn consistently. This cannot be overemphasized by his or her orthodontist, parents, and coach.


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 by 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 by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


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