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Water Sports and Braces: Navigating Bend’s Rivers with Orthodontic Care

Bend, Oregon is known for its picturesque mountains and rivers. It’s no surprise that many Bend residents and tourists engage in a variety of water sports such as kayaking, rafting, and stand-up paddleboarding. But for those with braces, or those who are considering braces, navigating the area’s raging waters safely can be a challenge.

One of the most sought-after water sports in Bend is kayaking, and it’s essential for kayakers with braces to be well-prepared. To avoid injury and orthodontic issues, it’s important to know how to properly paddle wit braces. It can be difficult to wear a mouthguard while paddling, so keeping an eye out for potential hazards and moving cautiously is the best approach. And of course, practice makes perfect – experienced kayakers who are accustomed to their braces are less likely to experience an injury.

Common Issues with Water Sports and Braces

Because both othodontic treatment and water sports involve a lot of movement and contact, it’s not uncommon for those with braces to experience issues. These can range from discomfort to outright injury. Here are a few of the most common issues:

Sore Muscles and Joints

Braces can make muscles and joints in the face and mouth sore, especially when paddling. This is typically a sign of your mouth getting used to the braces, and the soreness should subside after a while. In the meantime, try doing some jaw stretches before getting on the water. Resting your jaw by not eating hard foods and chewing gum can also help reduce discomfort.

Broken or Damaged Braces

Water sports such as kayaking, rafting, and stand-up paddleboarding can cause damage to braces if you aren’t careful. Make sure you have a properly fitted mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces from getting damaged. Avoiding hard foods and chewing gum while your braces are still new can also help protect them from damage.

Food In Your Braces

It’s important to brush and floss even more regularly while participating in sports activities. This is important in preventing food from getting stuck in your braces. Make sure to bring a water bottle and small brush with you to the water’s edge to ensure you aren’t leaving food residue behind.

How to Keep Your Braces Safe When Engaging in Water Sports

With the proper care and precautions, you can still participate in your favorite water sports even with braces. Here are a few helpful tips to keep you and your braces safe –

Wear a Mouthguard

Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard can help keep your braces safe from potential damage. It can also protect your teeth and the soft tissues of your mouth. You should choose a mouthguard that is purpose-built for orthodontic patients and can be custom-fitted to your mouth.

Be Aware of Surroundings

Become more aware of the potential hazards when engaging in water sports. Keeping an eye out for potential hazards and moving cautiously can help keep you safe while paddling.

Practice Caution

Experienced paddlers who are accustomed to their braces are less likely to experience an injury. That said, practice extreme caution when engaging in water sports. Many water sports involve a lot of movement, and it’s always wise to take your time and move a little slower than usual.

Take Care of Your Braces While Paddling

Remember that taking care of your braces is of utmost importance when participating in water sports. Make sure to bring a small brush and water bottle with you to use on the water’s edge to make sure you aren’t leaving food residue in your braces. Also, make sure to brush and floss more regularly to keep them clean.

In conclusion, water sports can offer a ton of enjoyment and excitement. And for those with braces, with the proper care and precautions, it’s possible to safely paddle in Bend’s rivers. Wearing a mouthguard, being aware of potential hazards, and practicing caution can help keep your braces safe while engaging in your favorite water sports. And of course, remember to take good care of your braces while paddling.