Coming soon to a locker room near you is the performance enhancing mouth guard. New on the scene is the Under Amour mouth guard. It is another example of a performance enhancing mouthguard that is marketed to the serious athlete who is interested in improving his or her performance.
To anyone untrained in dentistry these claims sound outlandish. In fact these types of mouth guards do actually improve performance. A simple test done in my office has demonstrated to many of our patients the merit behind the theory of these mouth guards. Any mouth guard will improve strength a little, but combining the knowledge of where to position the lower jaw in relation to the upper teeth is really key to gaining the greatest improvement in strength, speed, coordination and agility.
This understanding of neuromuscular theory is what sets these performance mouth guards apart from the old “boil and bite” mouth guards.
An earlier player in the performance enhancing mouth guard game is the Makkar Pure Power Mouth guard (PPM). www.makkaradvantage.com. I believe the results from the Makkar PPM are found to be better because it is made using that latest technique for determining the optimum jaw positioning. It involves using EMG and other computer technologies to help the dentist precisely locate the best position for the lower jaw.
What types of performance enhancing results are seen in patients who wear these kinds of mouth guards? Well.. increase in strength, balance, coordination, endurance etc.. Results have been seen to improve performance in sports such as football, baseball, golf, running sports, and basketball.
The cost for these types of mouth guards range from about $400.00 for the Under Armour to $2000.00 for the Makkar PPM. I used to think these were just too expensive for all but the professional athletes, but I have since learned that it is quite common for parents and athletes to spend just as much on other sport related items. Also if it helps athletes earn a better scholarship than it is a worthwhile investment.
The performance enhancing mouth guard is one addition for the coach’s and serious athlete’s tool boxes that will help improve their performance. For best results search for a dentist trained in neuromuscular dentistry.