February 12, 2019 2 min read

At Damage Control Mouthguards, we’re proud to provide you with the highest-quality custom mouthguards on the market. Using 3D printing to bring you a perfect fit, we leave you with the most comfortable, safest possible mouth safety devices.

Our mouthguard professionals are tops in the industry, and this includes having a great knowledge and appreciation for the history of mouthguards and how they came to be. Let’s go over a few of the major events that helped shape the modern mouthguard world you know today.

Mouth Guard History

Mouthguard Invention

The first major event for mouthguards was their invention, which took place sometime in the very late 1800s or right at the beginning of the 1900s (exact date unknown). A British dentist named Woolf Krause is often named as the first among a group of dentists and inventors who were charged with creating mouthpieces for boxers, who quickly had begun to realize that they needed this kind of protection.

These first mouthpieces were made of natural rubber resin known as gutta-percha. They were placed only over the front teeth of the boxers, not the entire mouth like you’ll see today. They were meant as single-use mouthguards – it wasn’t for quite a while that repeat-use options became available.

Dental Literature

In the year 1930, the mouthguard made its first appearance in dental literature when it was described and written about by Dr. Clearance Mayer. Mayer, a dentist and boxing inspector for the New York State Athletic Commission, described how custom mouthguards could be manufactured. This literature served as the base guideline for the creation of custom mouthguards years down the line.

Major Fit Breakthrough

Fast forward to 1947, and we see a major breakthrough in the field. This was when Dr. Rodney O. Lilyquist used a transparent acrylic resin to create a splint-like guard, one that could be molded to fit either the upper or lower teeth. This was the first iteration of the custom mouthguard, allowing boxers to be comfortable and also to speak while the mouthguard was in their mouth.

In 1948, a year later, the same dentist described a detailed method for fitting and making this mouthguard. This process received national recognition and was one of the primary events that led to the popularity of mouthguards.

ADA Research Begins

In the year 1960, with data mounting about dental injuries and their frequency in sports like football and boxing, the American Dental Association began research on mouthguards. It didn’t take long – by 1962, mouthguards were a full requirement for high school football nationwide.

Modern Refinements

This is less an event than a series of evolutions – ever since mouthguards became required in many sports, they have continuously been refined and improved. Custom-made options are great for both improving performance and protecting the teeth, and can also improve oxygen intake.

For more on the history of the mouthguard, or to learn about any of our mouthguard options, speak to the pros at Damage Control Mouthguards today.

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