Invisalign & Martial Arts: How to Kick Ass and Protect Your Developing Smile at the Same Time

There are a lot of precautions that you need to take during martial arts: glasses should be taken off as not to break them and hurt yourself, contacts aren't allowed during sparring, and then there's retainers. What about Invisalgn during martial arts? Should they be removed?

Invisalign and practicing martial arts

The amount of thought you need to give your Invisalign depends on the martial art you practice. Grappling-based martial arts such as judo or aikido will allow you to not worry much regarding your retainers, as long as you make sure not to land directly on your mouth or on your teeth during a movement.

Martial arts based on striking, kicking will require more care. Kickboxing, boxing, taekwondo, and hapkido (if you practice more of the art than its wrist manipulation movements) will require you to take care of the situations you put yourself in.

Invisalign and sparring

It's best if you avoid sparring during your treatment, as any hit on your jaw, mouth or face could either dislocate the retainers forcefully, hurt your teeth or break the retainers. Even the most experienced sparring partner might shoot for your head out of practice or muscle memory.

However, if you really need to spar, make sure to let your instructor and sparring partner your medical issues. This way, they can make the best effort possible to avoid that area. Your instructor can also direct you towards a more careful fighting style for the period you'll be wearing your retainers. Ideally, you should be doing mostly individual drills than sparring during your treatment, but if you're keen on keeping your sparring reflexes, try and make everyone aware that they should avoid the mouth area.

Invisalign and competing

If you need to compete, then you need to take your Invisalign out, mouthguard or not. Nobody will be gentle with you during a "real" fight—not  your trainer, not the referee, not the judges, and most definitely not your opponent.

Take out the retainers before putting on your mouthguard. A hit to the mouth, face or jaw can break the retainers, or move the retainers in such a way that they end up hurting your gums.

What about taking the retainers out?

It's not recommended to take your retainers out, especially as training can last quite a while, and a hit to the jaw may mess up everything the retainers have worked so hard to fix. A mouth injury could interrupt your treatment, and even cancel its beneficial effects. You should take them out only for eating, or as stated above, if you're wearing a mouthguard.

Patience will earn you your well-deserved smile. Put in practice the discipline and fortitude you show in your martial arts training into your Invisalign treatment. For more tips or assistance, consult resources like Dr Peter Vaughan Specialist Orthodontist.