Product Review: Shock Doctor Custom Mouthguard

Shock Doctor was able to provide Swole Science with a Shock Doctor Custom Mouthguard for review. This guard was all aspects utilized in combat sports and strength training.

This custom guard comes as a complete prepackaged kit that is very well thought out with respect to its implementation and contents. The kit comes with: instructions, molding putty, molding tray, return form, and a Shock Doctor Ultra STC Mouthguard. Not only does the kit give you with the custom mouthguard, but it provides you with the Ultra STC ‘boil and bite’ mouthguard as a temporary guard till you receive the custom guard. The temporary mouthguard is extremely convenient as it saves the user a trip to the local store for a temporary guard. The kit’s internal box also comes prepaid and labeled, making the mailing process on this product very congruous with the overall convenience of this product. Shock doctor allows the user to choose a type of custom guard with regard to the applicable sport. There are custom guards designed for a wide variety of applications all with slight distinctions for each sport, this is the ‘Fight’ version designed specifically for combat sports.

 

Shock Doctor Kit

Molding Process

The custom shock doctor uses a unique molding process that is slightly more involved than the average self mold custom mouthguard. First the user must refrigerate the putty, then boil and mold a tray, cool the tray, fill the tray with putty and bite down. Despite being a unique process, it was not time consuming and was actually done very quickly, but the steps must be strictly adhered to.

 

The mold

The Ultra STC

While waiting for the custom guard to arrive, the Ultra STC was molded and used. The guard is molded in usual ‘boil and bite’ fashion in boiling water and creating an impression into it while soft. Yet, the ‘boil and bite’ stigma does not apply to the Ultra STC, it is an exceptional mouthguard. The main issues of contention with boil and bite guards are the size and fit. To the contrary of most boil and bites, this mouthguard is very slim and compact, which gave an excellent fit with no excess material or comfort issues. The interior of the guard implements a gel material that actually creates a vacuum on your teeth to keep it in your mouth. One of the most important features is the slim rear ‘pads’, that allow for not only for the user to bite down but give extra padding to the concussion zone of the mouth.  The Ultra STC did not fall out easily, and provided exellent protection from contact for a boil and bite.

 

Shock Doctor Ultra STC

The Custom Guard

The turnaround on the custom guard was just over a week, which was under the projected time of two weeks.

Shock Doctor Custom

Shock Doctor Custom

 

Appearance

Shock Doctor’s customization options are lateral text and color variation. The customization takes place on the order form of the guard and there are a variety of options to take advantage of. The guard came out exactly as ordered-  The text on the sides and color schemes selected were crisp and aligned perfectly with the mouthguard. It has a very menacing front vantage point, with the reinforced black area staring back at your opponent (color is customizable).

 

Custom Guard

Fit

The shock doctor custom fits exceptionally tight and its an incredible improvement over the already capable Ultra STC. It fits low along the gum line and latches on to your teeth precisely. This low lying formation of the guard is also a double edged sword because it does not feel as though it holds onto the teeth from above the gum line and gives the guard the ability the shift in your mouth. The guard’s tooth fit was excellent and was further improved by the inclusion of a lower bite mold. The lower bite mold is performed by placing the guard in the microwave wrapped in a moist paper towel for a few seconds and then biting down. This is very advantageous for the guard because it opened up the opportunity for biting down during strength training, and combat sports.                                                                                                    
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Performance

Another piece of the technology in this custom guard is the reinforced front area of the guard (black area), known as the ‘Kraton’ Area. This area is slightly but not noticeably thicker than the rest of the guard. The purpose is the help buffer blows to the susceptible front teeth. The second layer of the guard is the ‘coreshock’ layer which the main part of the guard that provides the fit and shock absorption. The last layer is the interior ‘Pro fit’ section that helps to grip the interior of the mouth in a unobtrusive way. The ‘Pro Fit’ layer was particularly one of the most important levels with reference to comfort.  As the energy was transferred from an impact, the guard did an great job of protecting the not only the teeth and jaw but the overall shock that an athlete feels during impact. High impact blows such as kicks and takedowns also benefited from the ability to bite down and the shock absorption technology. Overall the main strength of the Shock Doctor custom is its ability to accomplish these features without sacrificing comfort.
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Value

The Shock Doctor custom is $149.99 directly from Shock Doctor, and is average for a mail order custom guard. Overall it is a very good value given the factors of the contents and protection provided. Postage both ways is prepaid and the Ultra STC mouthguard retails for $24.99 (which is included for free). Therefore the guard itself is really a very complete kit. Shock Doctor also has a warranty system with a 10 day replacement time period. Customer service will also work with the user if the guard does not fit correctly in anyway to ensure the user is comfortable.
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Negatives

There are several complaints with this product. The first is that is one of personal preference, and it is the lack of customization options that comparable rival guards have to offer. As previously stated the guard does have a distinct look and but the option of custom designs that have become a staple of expression in the mixed martial arts world would definitely improve the product. The second and most important, is the guard does not fit high on the gum line and within the inside of the mouth. The result is a lower profile guard but less streamlined fit and a slight propensity to shift.
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Conclusion

The Shock Doctor custom guard is a very effective and complete kit that provides excellent protection within the world of combat sports. The guard implements technology that is unique to the protection of the user and identifies not only the protection of the teeth but shock absorption as well. Given the technology implemented, customer service/warranty and overall experience, this custom guard is recommended for all levels of competition from the beginning grappler to the competition mixed martial artist.
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The Shock Doctor Custom can be purchased at:
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-Papa Swole

(This is an original post copyright to SwoleScience.com, credited to the aforementioned author. Its reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved to the original authors of any quoted or embedded material. This is an impartial review on a provided product without compensation and originally tested by the author)

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