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Stay in the Game: A Playbook For Athletes With Clear Aligners

People exercise and play sports for the same reason they straighten their smiles: to look good and feel great. That’s probably why we often get asked, “Can I play sports with clear aligners in?” While the answer depends on the sport, don’t sweat the details. We’ll help coach you through the play book.

People exercise and play sports for the same reason they straighten their smiles: to look good and feel great. That’s probably why we often get asked, “Can I play sports with clear aligners in?” While the answer depends on the sport, don’t sweat the details. We’ll help coach you through the play book.

When it’s okay to put your clear aligners in the game 

For most non-contact sports, you can wear your aligners while you play. These sports include:

  • Baseball/Softball

  • Basketball

  • Cycling

  • Dodgeball

  • Kickball

  • Pickleball

  • Running

  • Recreational Soccer

  • Tennis

  • Ultimate Frisbee

  • Volleyball

When you should bench your clear aligners

A big benefit of choosing clear aligners over braces? Only clear aligners are easily removable before the game (just remember to stash them in your aligner case, not under your towel). With that in mind, you should always remove your clear aligners when playing contact sports—or any other sport that might risk contact with or a blow to your mouth. These sports include: 

  • Boxing

  • Football

  • Hockey

  • Lacrosse

  • Martial Arts

  • Rugby

  • Soccer (high school, collegiate and professional)

  • Wrestling

Several of these sports require the use of a mouthguard. Clear aligner patients can wear normal mouthguards (in sports that require them) while playing, whereas braces patients need to purchase more expensive custom athletic mouthguards.

A note about sports drinks

It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re breaking a sweat. While it’s okay to keep your aligners in if you’re drinking plain water, you should always remove them before chugging any sports drinks—the sugar from the drink can get trapped under your clear aligners. Just remember to rinse your mouth out with water before popping your aligners back in.

Water breaks with aligners? Yes. Swimming? No. 

You’ll definitely want to remove your aligners before going for a swim, playing water polo or doing anything else in the water. The chlorine in swimming pools can be corrosive and warp the materials. As for lakes, rivers and other natural bodies of water, they are likely to have natural substances and organisms that you won’t want to see growing on your clear aligners. Just pop ‘em out before you splash in.

Your home team is in your corner 

A perfect smile is what your Motto care team has trained for. So, when you’re ready to take your shot at a new winning smile, book your free visit online or walk in to your nearest Aspen Dental location. We’ll be ready to guide you to the finish line.

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