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Mouth Guards for Performance: 1800Dentist.com

Mouth guard are an accredited invention of London dentist named Woolf Krauze. Krauze designed the very first mouthguard in 1890 to provide boxers with a level of protection against lip cuts, lip gashes and injury. In the 1970's Canadian pediatric dentist Dr. A. W. S. Wood further tweaked the devises to prevent dental injuries from occurring during ice hockey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouthguard). Since then, additional advancements in the design of the headgear have occurred and now mouth guards are being worn to improve concentration and athletic performance.

Mouth Guards Enhance Performance

Many athletes have game rituals that they swear by in order to ensure a winning streak. While Tebow may pray, Joe may where the same stinky socks he has worn during the winning streak and Jane may chew gum to improve her concentration and pitch. Mouth guards are the latest device being thrown in the mix.

High-performance mouth guards are the latest piece of sporting equipment being required by athletes in both contact and non-contact sports. Multiple companies have launched the niche mouth guards (that get their customized fit from a professional dentist) as a way to help reduce anxiety. The theory surrounds absent-minded tooth clenching that accompanies deep bouts of concentration. The act of clenching pinches the nerves in the jaw joint and in turn, the process will release cortisol, the hormone responsible for triggering fight-or-flight behavior by increases heart rate and blood pressure. The performance mouth guards have been developed to prevent clenching, aid in breathing and help concentration levels by blocking the clenching movement and preventing a hormonal influx (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2007404,00.html).

On such mouth guard is called Bite Tech produced by a Minneapolis and sold as "Under Armour." The device costs around $500 and a small, independent study conducted by exercise scientists at Rutgers University indicated a slight improvement in athletic performance for those who wore the headgear prior to game time (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2007404,00.html).

Variety of Mouth Guards

Performance mouthguards are just the latest offering to join the headgear options currently available. Some can be purchased at the neighborhood drugstore for around $20, while custom-made devices can cost substantially more. When it comes to mouth guards, individuals get what they pay for. Some mouth guard options are:

  • Pre-Fabricated: Ready-made mouth guards line the shelves of most pharmacies and while they may be useful in emergency situations, the one-size-fits-all approach may not be 100 percent comfortable or provide the maximum benefits.
  • Boil-and-Bite: Since these types of mouth guards can be slightly adjustable, they are a step up from the pre-fab varietal. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are constructed out of a thermo-plastic that becomes malleable once heated in boiling water.
  • Custom Mouth Guards: For those suffering with major dental problems, a custom mouth guard will deliver the best fit and dental health benefits. Dentists will take a mold of a patient’s mouth and then an outside lab will produce a mouth guard. Once the device is sent back to the dental office, a patient and dentist will meet again so the dental care expert can ensure a perfect fit.

Mouth Guards For Dental Health

By now, mouth guards are considered to be official issue for a number of sports including hockey, football, and basketball. During those games, the odds of facial impact and subsequent dental problems increase dramatically and mouth guards are worn as an act of preventative dentistry.

However, non-athletes also rely on the dental appliances as dental treatment for a number of issues. dental problems such as headaches, tooth sensitivity, excessive wear and tear, chipped teeth, tooth erosion and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). TMJ is a condition marked by the uncomfortable ability of the lower jaw (the mandible) to move up, down and sideways. Professional dental care often recommend mouth guards to stabilize jaws during slumber to reduce negative consequences.

Mouth guards are also an integral part of cosmetic dentistry procedures as some trays have been designed to hold the solution required of professionaltooth bleaching. Plus invisible braces are removable and replaceable mouth guards designed to slowly shift teeth into their proper positions.

Individuals looking for more advice on mouth guards should speak to a dentist about the issue. If you need to find a dentist, then 1-800-DENTIST can help you 24/7.