Mouthguard Of The Future: Innovating Advanced Comfort And Protection
When it comes to mouthguards, athletes commonly have three complaints:
- They are uncomfortable to wear
- They make it hard to breathe or speak
- They are too easily chewed up and destroyed
More than any other piece of gear, mouthguards seem to be mistreated the most — players often “forget” them in their locker or gym bag or they flat out ditch them altogether. And who could blame them! While there have been advancements made in the materials, the design of the boil-and-bite mouthguard has gone unchanged since the 1960s.
Think about that for a second … Would you drive a car with safety gear that hasn’t been updated for over 50 years?
Thankfully, not all mouthguards are created equally. Through a patented, innovative design and technology — from this century! — those issues and complaints of discomfort have been solved.
The reason mouthguards are typically uncomfortable is twofold: it has to do with the thickness of the mouthguard and where the material of the guard is actually located. While generic boil-and-bite mouthguards have a standard thickness and material that is consistent throughout, the human mouth has more nuance, as everyone’s mouth is different and unique to them. That makes the fit the most important aspect of a mouthguard. The way it fits determines the level of comfort and protection it provides.
So how do you obtain a proper fit? By having a custom mouthguard made directly from an exact impression of an athlete’s teeth. As the National Athletic Trainers’ Association states, “properly fitted mouthguards are fabricated over a stone model from an impression.” This is the only engineering method that guarantees a proper and exact fit.
When a mouthguard fits securely on the upper teeth, it doesn’t float freely around the mouth. And when a mouthguard stays in place, it not only deters chewing, but it actually means the mouthguard is where it needs to be when impact occurs.
Mouthguards should also focus solely on the important impact zones — the areas in front of the teeth and under the molars — with all unnecessary and extra bulky material eliminated. Yet many mouthguards carry extra material in the soft palate area, as well as the areas behind the front teeth and inside the molars. It’s that extra material and lack of an ideal fit that leads to discomfort, chewing and destruction.
That’s why custom mouthguards are engineered and cut by hand. A completely streamlined design creates the highest level of comfort, while providing the best protection possible. It also allows athletes to breathe, speak and even drink water without being inhibited or needing to remove their mouthguard.
The technological advancements in mouthguards don’t just stop at fit. Durability has also been improved by technology, as a denser material allows for better resilience against damage without adding any thickness to the mouthguard.
And with high tech add-ons — like a patented Nano-shock barrier — even superstar athletes like LeBron James and Jack Eichel are making the change to peak comfort and protection with custom mouthguards.