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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

The New Pacquiao Mouthguard – The First Look

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
30 Dec 2018



It seems that every time Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxing legend, trains for his fights, inevitably, some of the discussions regarding the fight would eventually involved his supposed “lucky charm” – his custom designed, fabricated and fitted mouthguard.

This is one of them.

This discussion is to address the impression that the mouthguard is “only a piece of plastic!”

Well first of all, the new Manny Pacquiao mouthguard is not just an ordinary piece of plastic! It's an FDA approve thermoplastic material that is designed for intra-oral use without any fear of body reaction to it’s chemical compositions. That is important!

I have seen some mouthguards used by fighters in some third world countries that are made of used rubber soles from shoes crudely curved by a knife to simulate form and fit. Certainly such materials are not meant for intra-oral use. And I have seen commercial over-the-counter mouthguards that should be banned from contact sports.

The new one that was fitted today for Pacquiao is custom-designed and fabricated from a true replica of his upper teeth and their surrounding structures. The sophisticated process involves high-heat and high-pressure lamination using a special machine used solely for the fabrication of intraoral devices including orthodontic and prosthetic devices.


Manny Pacquiao checks his new mouthguard (above) and poses with his dentist (top photo).

The new Pacquiao mouthguard like all those fabricated for him in the past, follows certain parameters recommended by the American Dental Association and the Academy for Sports Dentistry in terms of fit, extension and thickness in various areas. Per his request, it has four colors to represent the Philippine Flag.

More importantly it was designed, fabricated and fitted by a trained expert in mouthguards.

There in lies the difference.

People who know nothing about the science of mouthguards fabricate mouthguards. Some are so good in esthetic designs that their products look so pretty. Many are mass-produced and even carry the name of big sports outfits. But many of these fit the fighters poorly and the best they do is a give sense of false security.

This is probably where the impression that mouthguards are “simply a piece of plastic” originated.

Anyone with some kind of dental laboratory or plastics fabrication training can make a mouthguard but only trained dental professionals with knowledge of dental anatomy and occlusion can design, fabricate and more importantly, fit the really effective mouthguards.

When Manny Pacquiao fights Adrien Broner on January 19th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas everybody can be rest assured that his pearly whites will be well protected.

One thing to know however, mouthguards does not prevent concussions and knockouts. But that is not really an issue now. Adrien Broner has zero chance to knockout Manny Pacquiao. The reverse however is true.


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