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For those in the business of doing sports where an unfortunate oversight is that you may get your teeth knocked out, one of the fist names in protection is shock doctor. I have had a couple of shock doctor mouth guards in my time, the first one I bought on recomendation from a friend was a standard shock doctor (a boil and bite I call it) and it fit very well as you can mould them under thermal heat to your bite and gums, unlike the cheaper plastic pre moulded ones which make your gums and teeth fit them. Shock doctors also stay in allot more robustly, so im ny case, when I box, you can take allot of punches to the chops without them flying out and then the next shot hitting and damaging your teeth.
So shock doctor, whilst being a bit more expensive, have so many benefits. Thats why after 4 years I have to say it is only just starting to fall out as there are cracks in the mould and know the fit is not so tight. But I want to emphasise that this mout guard was easy to fit, relatively and worked well for all that time.
You pop these boil in the bowl jobbies into boiling water, let it get mouldable and pop it into your mouth for your teeth and lower gums to mould it, chew it a bit and take it out carefully and let it set. Its a nice system as then you have a hardened gel resin that fits quite well. Other reviewers have said to get a proffessionally fitted one (one reviewer is a trainee dentist- so there you go) I think that that is an expensive option for most people, you can pick one of these up for a little under £10 now, they were more expensive back in the day...and as long as you fit it right it stayed on well for me before the cracks started to appear after 3 and a half years.
The gel protects your teeth inside the harder resin case well, I have never had any breaks when wearing this and taking some serious punches to the face. Sometimes in the earlier days the gums bled as I think they were getting used to the guard but I have had no problems with it for quite a while. As I said beofre it stayed it well, it could be ard to breath through it as it is thicker then the cheaper plastic jobs, and they dont protect your teeth as well....my advise, learn to play slack jawed, you shouldnt be breathing through your teeth if your trying hard ! Now the cracks have appeared in the gel I am not worried that it does not protect my teeth but the fit is loser and it feels like it is coming away from the gum easier when im hit.
Also when I first moulded the fit it tended to make my teeth feel a bit like I just ate very cold ice cream and very sensitive, admittadly this lasted for about the first month whenever I put it on, my teeth getting used to beaing near a foreign object for so long.
I find that you can breath through OK most of the time, it is bigger then the smaller plastic cheapos and Id rather have more protection.
I have a green gel , black outside resin one, so that if I get smacked in the mouth the blood doesnt show on the gum shield and give my opponent a psychological edge.
For a short period of time (and I mean very short), I was a member of both a rugby team (I was terrible), and a karate group in a competition. Both of these sports are contact sports, and part of the rules are that you have to wear a mouthguard, to protect your teeth from injury. I went out and bought a shock doctor (like the one in the image, but mine was white), and it didn't come in cheap, it cost around 10-15 quid if i remember right.
Anyway, I really could not get one with my mouthguard. Everytime I wore it, I just started gagging and wretching. The idea is that you heat it up in some hot water, and then mould it to your teeth. Sadly this didn't work very well at all. I am a dental student now, and I know that I have a bit of a tricky gag reflex (we practice impressions on each other), but I would think a custom made shock guard would be a lot better than this, the ones that we make are a whole lot less bulky.
The heat and mould techinque honestly feels like more of a con, the thing barely changes shape. And its soo bulky it sort of messes up your breathing. Whats worse is that it doesn't really get "held" in place very well, so you are constantly worrying about swallowing the thing or something, as well as gagging on it.
Anyway, I didn't really get on with this. Maybe if you have more tolerance to these things than I do, it will be fine for you, but I give this device 1/5, for me it was simply unusable. If I was to get another mouthguard (I no longer take part in any contact sports, so this won't be for some while), I would invest in getting a dentist to make one, they fit much better than this one (I know because I have made one, they really do stick down), and they are a lot less bulky. Although they do also cost more.
In my spare time I try and take part in a variety of sports, with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo being two of my favorites. While these sports are relatively non-contact you still end up being thrown on your hind quarters more than I'd like! With any physical sport comes the risk of injury, and one of the injuries I'm most worried about is damaging my teeth. I've taken a couple of knocks to my face before and the resulting dentist checkup alone has worried me enough to prepare properly.
With that in mind I thought to invest in a decent mouthguard. After discussing it a bit with my friends I settled on a Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouth Guard. It cost me about £13 from Amazon and arrived promptly. I thought £13 was very cheap for a gumshield at the time and was happy to pay the money. Frankly I was stupid. Saving money on protective equipment for my teeth is the textbook definition of a false economy. thankfully I didn't endure any injuries while I had this mouth guard.
This mouth guard is like any other out there. You take it out of the packet, submerge it in hot water for about 30 seconds and then bite into it to let it mould to your teeth. It sounds like an elegant process but there are a couple of faults with it. This product in particular contains a form of gel filling, hence the "Gel Max" in the name. This gel is supposed to be more pliable than the outer rubber protection, which is fine. The problem lies in when you heat it. You really only get one chance with such a soft material and if you make a bad impression you're stuck with it. Luckily this didn't happen to me but I have heard reports of people having to buy another after messing it up. The next problem is related to the moulding process too. Seeing as how it is so soft, the gel didn't fully adhere to my teeth and left me with a looser fit than I would have liked. It's probably not much of a problem in a sport like Judo but I wouldn't like to be taking shots in my face with a loose mouthguard.
The mouthguard is fairly comfortable when it's in and doesn't restrict my breathing at all. I felt fairly comfortable wearing it but I still had a niggle in my mind that it wasn't good enough. After consulting my dentist at a checkup I decided to get her to fit me with a professional one. Best decision I ever made. £35 later and I had a custom mould of my teeth taken and was delivered a perfectly fitting mouth guard. It'd take a sledgehammer to take this new one out of my mouth.
The Shock Doctor model isn't bad. It does it's job just fine, it's just not as good as a professional model. And when your teeth are as important as they are you'd be a fool to buy this over a dentist fitted one. As for the product itself I give it 3 stars to account for the problems with the gel moulding and the looseness of the fit.