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New mouthguards may protect and boost athletic performance
Updated: 2/24/2011 5:00:12 PM

Athletes can lower their risk of oral injury by wearing mouthguards While some youth sports require players to wear mouthguards for dental protection, a new brand may be able to provide safety and improve athletes' muscle strength and performance, according to researchers at Shock Doctor.

Executives at Shock Doctor, a producer of athletic gear, said their new Custom Fit product will enable wearers to breathe, communicate and focus more effectively than other designs.

The mouthguards also feature a mandibular orthopedic repositioning appliance, which positions the lower jaw down and forward to create optimal muscular function of the head and neck muscles. Preliminary research done by employees at Shock Doctor shows that this technology may increase muscular strength and improve athletic performance.

Also, a cushion layer found in the new devices improves shock absorption by 30 percent compared to traditional custom mouthguard materials, members of the company said.

The American Dental Association (ADA) promotes the use of oral protection by any individual who participates in contact or non-contact sports and activities.

"Surveillance studies of mouthguard users and nonusers have consistently shown that mouthguards offer significant protection against sports-related injuries to the teeth and soft tissues," the ADA states.

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