When I was younger and through high school since it was required I always just used cheap, boil and bite mouth guards or the super uncomfortable ones that most orthodontists give out. Once a mouth guard was no longer required in the leagues I played in I just stopped using one. Recently, with all the new studies on the adverse effects of concussions, I re-thought my ignorance of using a mouth guard and changed my stance on them. Everyone playing any physically active sport such as lacrosse should be using a mouth guard. Yes, the cage on your helmet protects your teeth from direct impacts and helps prevent concussions and more tooth damage, but a mouth guard is really a necessity to get the best protection possible.
Recently, I was looking for an upgrade for a mouth guard. Shock Doctor, who’s been a leader in mouth guards for a long time, challenged me to try a few of their varieties of mouth guards and see what I thought. I tried each of them at least for one game and had different thoughts on each of them.
Shock Doctor Nano 3D Mouth Guard
The first mouth guard from Shock Doctor that I tried out was the Nano 3D. The Nano 3D mouth guard was the most similar to other boil and bite mouth guards I had used in the past, but a little thinner. Fitting these were pretty easy and it holds its place without many issues. I didn’t think this mouth guard was very comfortable and it was bothering my upper lip a bit while I was wearing it. The inside of the mouthguard is a nice gel that forms nicely around the teeth but the outside is a bit stiff which I think is what led to me not being the biggest fan of the Nano 3D. It is available in a bunch of different colors including completely clear, which I liked the look of a lot. It also includes a tether to attach to your helmet so it won’t fall out and get lost on the field if you take it out on the sidelines.
Shock Doctor Gel Nano Flavor Fusion Mouth Guard
Of the Shock Doctor mouth guards that I tried out, my favorite was definitely the Gel Nano Flavor Fusion. These were a bit thicker than the Nano 3D but I felt as though it gave me a better, more comfortable fit. Although a larger mouth guard I was still able to talk with it in although drinking out of a water bottle with it in was a little difficult. The key feature of these mouth guards is obviously the flavors. Available in Rocket Punch, Blue Raz, Limontensity, Shock Orange and Bubblegum, theres an option for whatever you want. I tried the Rocket Punch, Blue Raz and Limontensity and they were all of decent. My favorite flavor was the Rocket Punch (fruit punch flavored), the Blue Raz tastes just as you’d expect and Limontensity tasted like 7-Up or Sierra Mist. With all of these the flavor lasts quite a while which is nice, so you’re not just tasting bad plastic with it in. The Gel Nano is nice and soft which I felt gave some nice protection without it being bothersome to have on. Similar to the Nano 3D, the Gel Nano was very easy to custom fit as well and comes with an optional helmet tether.
Shock Doctor Microfit Mouth Guard
The most intriguing of the three Shock Doctor mouth guards that I reviewed was definitely the Microfit. This mouth guard actually comes flat in the package and is very thin compared to the others. Rather than bringing the water to a full boil, just heat it up a bit less when fitting the mouth guard. Fitting the Microfit was quite hard and I actually ruined one while trying to get the fit right. Once I did get the Microfit to fit just right, it was different than any other mouth guard that I had tried. Its extremely low profile and smaller than standard mouth guards. It also feels “harder” than most of the gel varieties. The biggest benefit to the Microfit in my opinion was that drinking water and talking with it on was super easy and didn’t give me any problems, something that can’t be said for many mouth guards on the market. Although it seems great, I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of the feel of this mouthguard but it has a ton of benefits. I also had a friend of mine try one of these out and he personally loved it compared to his standard ones.
Although I had my personal preference out of the three Shock Doctor mouth guards, it is definitely player preference which is the best for you. All three of these mouth guards have great protection and Shock Doctor even backs them all with at least up to a $10,000 dental warranty, so they’re pretty much guaranteeing that your teeth won’t get any damage. In lacrosse, a mouthguard is a necessity at any level you play and I’d recommend Shock Doctor’s offerings to anyone looking for the protection necessary.