Can you do boxing with braces? Yes, if you wear a proper mouth guard made for people with braces. Preferably, a double mouth guard that also protects your lower jaw. It’s best to use a boil-and-bite mouth guard that will mould to your braces, such this Champs Breathable Mouthguard or this Sport Mouth Guard.
I know it sounds weird that you can box with braces, but it can absolutely be done. The key is to ensure your braces are properly protected with a high-quality mouthguard, as a lack of protection could lead to permanent injury or loss of teeth.
To avoid serious injury, you’ll need to take the appropriate precautions. In this article, we’ll look at:
- The risks of boxing with braces
- The best safety practices
- Types of headgear to wear
- Different types of mouthguards.
What Are the Risks of Boxing With Braces?
Unfortunately, there are a few risks of boxing with braces on. First, if the potential injuries you sustain are bad enough, they may require dental surgical correction.
It’s possible to box without sustaining serious injuries. However, the risks are very real. Some of these risks include the following:
- Dental Abrasion
Dental abrasion happens when the tooth’s enamel wears down due to an outside force. For example, it can happen when brushing your teeth too hard.
In the case of wearing braces while boxing, a dental abrasion can occur from the metal scraping against your teeth. However, this could easily turn into lacerations on the gum if the metal goes too far.
A worst-case scenario would be your braces dismantled due to the strikes, causing the metal to twist and get in between your teeth.
- Broken Tooth or Fracture
Broken or fractured teeth can, unfortunately, be expected when it comes to any combat sport. Most fighters in combat sports sustain facial and dental injuries.
In boxing, walking away with a chipped or broken tooth is common. This injury is the result of the impact that immediately weakens and breaks the tooth.
This breakage will occur if the mouthguard doesn’t fit correctly or is not thick enough to absorb the shock of the punch.
- Soft-Tissue Damage
Soft tissue damage means damage to the soft tissues in your mouth. This tissue includes your:
Whenever soft tissues are injured, they bleed a great deal. This profuse bleeding happens because these soft tissues comprise several blood vessels.
Perhaps one of the greatest injuries is the impact these potential accidents could have on your wallet. As we know, braces aren’t cheap and require a hefty investment throughout treatment.
If your braces get damaged while you’re in the ring, no matter the severity of the damage, you must repair them. The repair cost on top of any potential surgical costs can add up.
When boxing, your face is the main aim. So, take every possible precaution, even if it means going the extra mile to protect yourself.
- Dental Avulsion
Dental avulsion is a term that means your permanent tooth has become detached from the gum, or, in other words, it gets knocked out. Dental avulsions occur as the result of a traumatic injury or accident.
This issue is possibly the worst tooth injury that can occur in boxing. Potentially losing your teeth is all the more reason you must take wearing the correct mouthguard very seriously.
A standard mouthguard isn’t recommended for boxing with braces. So, either have a custom or an orthodontic mouthguard made. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The Best Safety Practices
In boxing, the name of the game is to ensure you safeguard yourself as best as you can while you fight. A significant part of doing so is by exercising prevention and protection.
Mouthguards are among the best ways to protect your mouth, apart from certain moves. They will not only protect your braces and teeth but will ultimately help safeguard your entire face.
It’s no secret boxers often get broken jaws. Mouthguards also help protect the jaw which will shield the entire face.
While gear is essential, understanding certain moves and techniques will also provide you with even more security for your mouth.
- Exercise Proper Defense Techniques
Using protective gear is important but only goes so far. Understanding and using proper defense techniques will help to be that final layer of protection.
It’s crucial to note that having a proper stance is vital in defense techniques. Likewise, proper form is necessary when throwing blows and defending against them.
Strong defense will give you an advantage over your opponent and decrease the risk of sustaining injuries to your mouth.
One defense move that is essential in boxing is learning how to block. Blocking helps to protect the face, thus saving your mouth.
It won’t always be possible to dodge getting hit. But blocking an impact is undoubtedly better than connecting with a punch. Blocking is imperative for any boxer but especially for those wearing braces.
As previously mentioned, a proper stance is crucial. In order to block correctly, it all starts with your stance. It would be best if you also kept your chin tucked, which is another key to ensuring you’re protecting your braces. Not keeping your chin down can easily lead to severe damage or a broken jaw.
Blocking for too long can hurt more than help. Remaining too tense for too long allows your opponent the opportunity to strike you in the mouth, chin, or jaw. So, keep in mind when to block and when to release.
- Always Wear Headgear
Headgear works to protect everything, all at once. For example, it helps protect your head and mouth, which is vital for avoiding head injury or wounds inside and outside the mouth.
Wearing headgear is beneficial if you’re boxing with braces, especially when sparring. The best type of headgear to shield orthodontic work is the full-face helmet.
The full-face helmet guards and covers your skull, chin, mouth, and jaw. These areas are all interconnected and therefore need to be protected as much as possible.
In other words, if your head is protected, it helps guard your mouth. So, headgear is highly recommended when boxing with braces. Your risk of injury is reduced, and you can never be too safe, especially in a combat sport.
Types of Headgear
The great thing about boxing is there are a few varieties of headgear that you can choose from. If you’re a braces wearer, you must choose the correct gear that will benefit you the most.
There are three main types, and while each can add protection, not all are designed for protecting your mouth if you have braces.
- Full Face
This design will give the most protection out of all types. It comes in different styles; all meant to shield every aspect of the head and face effectively.
Generally, the full-face design is meant to surround the jaws and head comfortably. It also closely covers the mouth, making it difficult for your opponent to strike any of these areas successfully.
Some cover the entire face in a cage-like design. This particular design is entirely breathable, with a cage placed over the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Other designs are more open at the eyes, nose, and mouth while providing a thick padded barrier around the head.
Although it may be tough getting used to seeing through some of the full-face headgear, it’s best if you have braces and are looking for sufficient protection.
2. Cheek Protection
This design of headgear is fantastic for protecting the mouth. It helps to deter and absorb the shock of any blow made around the face, mouth, or head.
This protection, of course, is vital for braces. The only downside to this design is your nose will be a little more exposed.
3. Open Face
Open-face headgear is the most commonly used type of headgear. It allows you to see correctly while giving a decent amount of protection.
Although it’s most commonly used and generally works well, it’s not practical for braces wearers. This ineffectiveness is due to the lack of protection for the face since it’s completely open.
With this headgear, you’ll need to work harder to ensure your face and mouth receive enough protection.
As previously mentioned, the full face is the most beneficial if you seek the best protection. However, the cheek protection design works quite well too.
Just ensure that you take the time to choose which works best for you and provides the most protection while decreasing the risks of injury.
Orthodontic Mouthguards vs. Standard Mouthguards
Fortunately, there are many mouthguards on the market. Here are the main differences between orthodontic and standard mouthguards.
Orthodontic mouthguards are the best option if you wear braces while boxing. They are specifically designed and molded around your braces.
You won’t have to worry about them shifting or changing shape over time, and they’ll provide maximum protection. You also won’t have to worry about them slipping off since they are accurately aligned with your jaw.
Opt for a mouthguard that protects your lower jaw and molds to your braces through the boil-and-bite fitting method. Two fantastic options include this Sports Mouth Guard and the Champs Breathable Mouth Guard.
The only downside may be the cost. Orthodontic mouthguards usually cost a couple of hundred bucks, which may be a little costly for some.
However, the investment is worth it if you’re serious about boxing. Having braces certainly shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your passion.
Standard mouthguards typically are premade, meaning they come ready to use. Remove it from the packaging, place it in your mouth, and you’re ready to go.
While standard mouthguards can be okay for protecting your teeth, they aren’t effective if you wear braces. Since they come in a standard size, finding a size large enough to fit over your teeth and braces may be challenging.
Many standard mouthguards won’t be thick enough, as they’re used for less intense contact sports.
Mouthguards made by orthodontists may be pricey, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you decide you prefer to spend less, ensure the material is thick enough. If you opt for a custom mouthguard, ensure it’s durable.
Final Thoughts: Can you Do Boxing With Braces?
So, can you enjoy boxing with braces? Yes! If you’re a boxer who has braces, you’ll need to take care to find a high-quality mouthguard that protects your lower jaw. You should also look for a mouthguard that moulds to your braces.
Having braces shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this sport. Get yourself a high-quality mouthguard by following our above tips so you can get back in the ring.