Shock Doctor advertises the Nano 3D Mouthguard as its “lowest-profile, Super Tight Molded Gel-Fit” model on the package. Like many brands, this mouthguard is heated in hot water for a custom fit. It can be worn with or without the tether. The packaging additionally notes that the product is latex free and is not to be used with braces.
Effectiveness - ★★★★★
Having a smaller jaw at 5’4”, the Youth (age 10 and under) size fit me perfectly. Larger humans may need the adult size. Having had some jolts from falls and collisions with other players out on the ice, I can say that the last thing on my mind was my mouth. This is excellent because the equipment is working so well on that concerns over my teeth were the furthest thing from my mind. That must cover the package claim for the product to “Increase Athletic Performance” since I’m not stressing about possibly losing another tooth.
Cost - ★★★☆☆
The Shock Doctor brand-name quality carries a bigger price tag; their website lists the Nano 3D Mouthguard at $49.99 for either the youth or adult size model. For comparison, I bought my helmet and face cage (on sale) for that amount. Cheaper styles of mouthguards sell for around $15.
The packaging promotes its three layers of high-tech protection. Purchase of the model carries an advertised $15,000 dental warranty. It would be interesting to hear from anyone that has actually used this. For me, the warranty has thus far only been an indicator of a company standing behind its product.
A gel mouthguard with a tether can easily run $20 - $30 and I probably spent close to $100 on bulky models that made me miserable. I never returned them to the sporting goods stores since I felt badly about the fact they were not the sort of thing a store could resell since I have molded it to fit me and stuffed it in my mouth… ick. My being conscientious lead to a sizeable waste of money on mouthguards. At least by buying this model, you can be assured of quality and probably get a few years use out of it.
Comfort - ★★★★★
A comfortable fit is the Nano 3D’s outstanding feature. Bulkier mouthguards made me gag, made breathing seem harder and trying to speak while wearing them was comical. I feel like I am getting an equal or higher level of protection with half the thickness of my prior mouthguards. The Nano 3D is still a mouthguard and speech will be a bit muffled – I would not give a keynote address while wearing one – but verbal communication on ice was the clearest with this model.
I like the tether and have it attached to my face cage so I can pop the mouthguard out when coming off the ice or to drink water. The low profile and good fit allow me to slurp the Nano 3D back into my mouth quickly when I go out to skate. Just do not bite down on the Nano 3D walls or chew on it. The slim design is less forgiving of gnawing and the front part where the tether attaches broke because I had it in my mouth sideways and bit through it.
Style Points - ★★★★★
Mouthguards will keep you safer but not necessarily make you look cooler. The Nano 3D comes in nine different colors to choose from (including clear) that you can maybe try to match to your team jersey, or at least select a favorite shade. You may want the hockey street cred for missing a front tooth or two, but skating safer is my haute couture.
Durability - ★★★★★
There has been a noticeable lack of wear and tear on the mouthguard during the time I have used it, skating one to two times a week. There is slight scuffing on the plastic underside. The Nano 3D does not show any other signs of fraying and the different layers of the design are firmly intact.
Overall - ★★★★☆
I used this piece of equipment for over eight months before reviewing it and it is a superlative product. The only downside is the price tag. If you are comfortable with lower-cost mouthguards, stay with them. If you want a slim design with a comfortable fit, the Nano 3D is a good investment. If I needed a new mouthguard, I would definitely buy another Nano 3D right away.
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