Swimming With Braces

By Stuart Robertson

For someone new to braces, it can be difficult to know what you can and cannot do with braces in your mouth. When you first get braces, they will likely hurt, no matter what you do. This is not a sign that you are doing anything wrong but merely that your teeth are adjusting to the braces.


Most people assume the sole purpose of braces is to straighten teeth, but they actually serve a few other purposes. Braces may be used, for example, to correct an improperly aligned bite, which is the way your top and bottom teeth meet.

Braces and Water

Since braces consist of titanium alloy or other, similar materials, they are rust-proof. This helps both in the pool and, more generally, with saliva in the mouth. If braces were made of a material prone to rusting, pool water would likely make them rust, but so, too, would saliva. Based on this, there is no reason why you cannot go swimming with braces in your mouth.

Contact Sports

If you are swimming laps or just lounging in the pool, you will not need to take any special considerations with your braces. If you are playing a sport where there is the possibility of body contact, however, you should be using a mouth guard to protect your braces. Playing water polo or water volleyball, for instance, would be two instances where you would want to protect your braces with a mouth guard.

Swimming With Retainers

After braces come off, many people begin wearing a retainer. Teeth will continue to move around, after all, and a retainer helps keep your teeth in the position your braces left them in. Unlike braces, orthodontists recommend that you take your retainer out before swimming and before any other vigorous physical activity. If you wear a retainer during vigorous physical activity, you risk having it slip out of your mouth.


About the Author

Stuart Robertson has been freelance writing since 2008, covering topics such as health, environmental issues and technology for websites such as Chiff.com and Environmental Graffiti. He has a bachelor's degree in political science.

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