Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouth Guard Review
Shock Doctor are a brand who focus heavily on protective gear. Many fighters go to them for mouth guards and groin guards, however they also stock a whole range of other gear. The brand started back in 1993, with the original version of their famous Gel Max mouth guard being released in 2002.
About the Mouth Guard
The Gel Max guard is one of Shock Doctor’s widely known mouth guards, and is available in many different sports retailers. There are several versions of this guard, as they have developed it over time. The latest version of this mouth guard has a connection point to tether the mouth guard, which is a nice benefit for many sports but makes no difference for fighters. The version we’ve reviewed is the non-tetherable version. We tried out the regular version of the mouth guard, but it’s also available in a flavoured version, which I’m sure would only improve the experience.
What makes the mouth guard special is the 2 materials it’s made out of. Your teeth sit in a comfortable gel, while the outside rim is covered in a tougher rubber layer for protection. The rubber also covers some of the bottom, keeping the shape of the guard and giving something to bite down on. The gel on the inside moulds really easily to the shape of your teeth, fitting into the shape and crevices. The two layers are designed to work together to disperse shock and keep the teeth protected.
The moulding process is pretty straight forward with this mouth guard. It’s a boil-and-bite mouth guard, so chances are you probably already know how to go through the moulding process, but if you don’t, instructions are still included. Sometimes it’s a little difficult getting a nice fit mould with a boil and bite mouth guard, but I found that I got it right first time. The gel padded inside moulded easily to the shape of my teeth, and seems to fit to the shape of your mouth easily, while the bottom make slight indentations, meaning that everything feels right when you bite down.
The Gel Max mouth guard is a pretty technical looking guard. On the default design, the guard is black with a light blue gel. The black outside has ‘Shock Doctor’ stamped on the front, and several cut out hexagons on each side which allow the blue gel to show through. I opted for this standard colour option, however there are also a wide range of other colours available. From what we can see though, none of these other options are two-toned, so the interesting contrast between the outer layer and the gel is a little bit lost.
As far as mouth guards go, this is pretty comfortable. The materials feel really good on the teeth and gums, with the gel providing a much nicer feel than many other guards. There also aren’t any hard edges, so nothing which lips or gums could get cut on or grind against.
One thing I do notice is that the mouth guard is a little on the bulky side. It’s by no means huge compared to some sport specific mouth guards, for example those favoured by American football, but there are certainly slimmer out there nowadays. Even shock doctor offers slimmer mouth guards, such as the Gel Nano, a guard made with the same technology, and the new custom fitted Microfit Mouth Guard. While it’s not huge, I would avoid going for anything too much bigger for combat sports personally, as the more your lips stick out, the more it’s going to hurt when a sharp jab catches you in the mouth!
What the Gel Max mouth guard does well, however, is to keep you protected. After many sparring sessions, both light and heavy, I can certainly say the mouth guard does a great job at keeping your teeth protected. The gel does a great job at ensuring that all impact is dispersed well, so your teeth never feel the full impact. The size of it clearly means that your teeth are well padded and always secure.
The only other issue I have with the mouth guard is that, while it fits securely to start with, I found it never quite holds in place properly and after time (a number of months use, admittedly) the guard starts to lose its tight fit and has gotten to the point where it falls out easily. This may be something that’s easily fixed by remoulding slightly later down the line, however I’m personally a bit hesitant when it comes to remoulding boil-and-bite mouth guards, as I never find the fit to be as good the second time around.
The gel max mouth guard can be found in the £10 – £15 price range, which puts it right into the price range beginners will be looking at. The guard offers a great amount of protection compared to other mouth guards of the same price, and while it’s only a boil-and-bite and will never match a custom fitted mouth guard, it does a good job at being comfortable. Shock doctor also offer a warranty of up to $10,000 which means you can have even more confidence in the product.