If you’re a Florida athlete in search of a straighter smile without the discomfort or disruption of braces, clear aligners could help. Their comfortable fit makes it possible for you to straighten your teeth without missing out on the hobbies and pastimes that matter most. Clear aligners should stay put during typical exercise without causing any discomfort. In more intensive settings, however, removing your aligners could help keep your pearly whites safe.

When is it safe to wear an aligners?

Fortunately, you could safely wear your dental aligners while playing most sports. Aligners have a snug fit that’s meant to move with you. They should stay secure even as you run, jump, swim and kick. Unless you receive different guidance from your orthodontist, don’t worry about removing your aligners while playing the following sports:  

  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Basketball
  • Running

When should I take my aligners out?

While clear aligners are fairly sturdy, a powerful impact to the face could bend or break them. A damaged aligner could hurt your teeth or even cause you to choke. While an invisible aligner may resemble a mouthguard, it doesn’t protect your teeth in the same way. Typically, if a sport requires a mouthguard, you shouldn’t wear your aligner. Instead, pop your aligners out and store it in a safe place. Make sure you swap it with a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw. Never wear both at once. If you’re playing any of the following sports, you may want to take out your aligner:

  • Football
  • Boxing
  • Hockey
  • Wrestling
  • Martial arts
  • Rugby
  • Field hockey
  • Roller derby

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Aligners for Athletes

While aligners may not work for every sport, they offer some significant advantages over braces for athletes. Traditional braces pose some safety risks for players in contact sports. Unlike aligners, you can’t remove braces, of course. If your mouth gets hit, wires and metal brackets may snap. Sharp metal components could cut your mouth and face or even introduce a serious choking hazard. Even if you aren’t injured, braces may irritate your mouth while you play sports. Clear aligners offer a safer, more comfortable experience.

If your sport requires you to remove your aligners often, you may face one significant barrier. Typically, you should wear your aligners for 22 hours each day to meet your milestones. You also have to remove your aligners for meals, which may not leave you with a lot of extra time. If you frequently have to take your aligners out for practice or games, talk to your orthodontist to change your treatment timeline or find a compromise.

If you’re an athlete looking for a straighter smile, braces might not be the best fit. A dentist may offer invisible aligners in Florida, Wyoming or anywhere in between as a less invasive option. That way, you could straighten your smile while you’re on the court or in the pool.