Since I started roller derby, one thing has always been extremely important to me: my gear. My gear protects me so I am capable of playing with a high level of intensity without fear of injury. However, no matter how protective a piece of equipment is, I do not want to wear it if it is not comfortable. If my gear is not comfortable, it definitely affects my gameplay because I am more concerned about my body than what is happening on the track. While most skaters think of these things when it comes to knee pads and helmets, I tend to think of a different piece of equipment: my mouth guard.
A mouth guard is arguably the most important piece of equipment a skater can wear, aside from maybe a helmet. It is there to prevent many types of injuries from teeth being chipped or broken to preventing fractured jaws and concussions. As a skater who has received multiple concussions, doing everything I can to prevent another is high on my priority list. However, a mouth guard that prevents me from quickly refueling and rehydrating on the bench or communicating with my team on the track is useless. After experimenting with many mouth guards, there was only one that met all of my criteria: Sisu’s NextGen Aero Guard.
When molding my Sisu NextGen Aero Guard, I noticed there was a different perforation pattern and a wider bite pad than earlier versions. The wider bite pad helped me feel more secure and I was less likely to stretch the perforation pattern out across my teeth making it easier to mold. I felt like I was better able to maintain a higher level of protection because of this design.
The increased level of protection I felt during molding proved true during practices and scrimmage. I have not had a single issue with feeling my mouth guard shift on the track. My mouth guard feels secure and stays in place, even during impact to my jaw. My teammates agree! Jenn Price, skater with the Ann Arbor Brawlstars, “I've been wearing Sisu most of the seven years that I've been playing derby. I'm digging the changes though. The wider bite pad and rounded edges makes the mouthguard feel even more comfortable and keeps my mouth guard in place.”
For as much as I look for protection during gameplay, I also require a high level of comfort in my mouth guard. The NextGen Aero Guard does not disappoint! The better fit certainly allows more natural eating and drinking on the bench. I am now able to spend more time discussing the strengths and weaknesses of our line rather than popping out my mouth guard to have a snack and drink between jams. The extra time to discuss gameplay has positively affected my mental game, allowing me to connect with my line. It’s amazing what a small change like a mouthguard can do!
Perhaps my favorite feature of the NextGen Aero Guard is that I can talk! When speaking with my old mouth guard, I slurred my words and I sounded like I had a slight lisp. The NextGen Aero Guard allows me to speak much more clearly, so I can communicate efficiently with my teammates on the track. I no longer need to worry about a teammate mishearing what I say due to my mouth guard impacting my speech. My teammates will tell you, I love to talk! And Price does too! “It's easier to communicate with my teammates and I never feel the need to take it out to get a point across.”
NextGen Aero Guard is definitely a mouth guard upgrade. It will enable you to have a mouth guard molded just for you, to keep you protected on the track and comfortable whenever you are wearing it. The next time you are in the market for a mouth guard, check out the NextGen Aero Guard.
Cora Slain is an enthusiastic and strategy-oriented Brawlstar, who loves skating and hates cross-training, but does it anyway because she really loves roller derby.