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Using Mouthguards True or False ?

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Monroe Elkin

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Types Of Mouthguards
  1. Stock Mouthguard

    This type of mouthguard is purchased in sporting goods stores. It comes in various sizes and shapes depending on the age of the athlete and the size of the mouth. This type of mouthguard is difficult to retain because it can only be held in when the mouth is closed. It offers only minimal protection. Breathing and talking are extremely difficult. Sports dentists do not recommend this type of mouthguard.

  2. Mouth Formed Mouthguard

    This type of mouthguard is also purchased in sporting goods stores. It is made from a thermoplastic material, which can be reformed by placing it in boiling water for 10-45 seconds; care should be taken that it cools sufficiently before being placed in the mouth. This can be done by placing the appliance in cold water for 5 seconds. The mouthguard is then placed in the mouth and the athlete is instructed to close the lips and using a sucking action to help mold it to the teeth and gingival tissues.

  3. Custom Made Mouthguard

    This is by far the most satisfactory mouthguard that an athlete can wear. The dentist takes an impression of the athlete's maxillary dental arch and then makes a cast. A vacuum-heating unit is used by the dentist and a soft vinyl material is suctioned over the cast to create an exact fit. This type of mouthguard is made of polyvinyl acetate-poly-ethlene product. Since this type of mouthguard fits the athlete's mouth precisely, thus breathing and talking are made easy.
Applied Kinesiology : Subjective Testing

There is a belief by some dentists active in sports than a correlation exists between jaw position, oral muscle strength and overall muscle strength and endurance of the body. Dr. Stephen Smith in 1978, working with the Philadelphia Eagles football team conducted tests on some of the players. The method of testing was done by pressing down against the middle forearm with the athlete resisting or pushing upward. This is done with the jaw in closed position and then with the jaw placed in a new wax bite position , creating an open jaw position.

Eversaul and Goodhart, applied kinesiologists advocate this method for strength determination. This muscle testing method is known as the isometric deltoid press. Eversual found that in repeated tests utilizing 21 different muscles that all other muscles reach their strong point of contraction when the deltoid tests at its peak strength. Leg testing utilizing the same procedure could be done by testing the quadriceps muscle.

Applied Kinesiology : Objective Testing

Smith then duplicated the tests using a more accurate means of measuring the effect of jaw position on arm strength. Using the same criteria, teeth together versus wax bite position, the athletes were tested on a Cybex II Dynamometer. He reported similar results that Smith had obtained previously. He used 14 members of the University of Pennsylvania basketball team. It should be noted that the appliance used in this study was different from Dr. Smith's in that it was made from hard acrylic. Dr. Smith's study used soft wax. This may have had some significance in the results obtained. Greenberg also used the Cybex II Dynamometer for objective testing. He concluded, after testing the subjects with and without the appliance and additionally with a placebo, that there was no statistically significant difference in muscle strength in any of the players. Greenberg's conclusion was that altering the bite would not increase upper body strength.
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