- Joined Apr 1, 2005
Anyone know a cheap and effective mouth guard to use for basketball?
Look closely the next time Eric Byrnes steps in the batter's box. Focus in on his face, examine his mouth. Do you see it?
Yes, there it is. Byrnes is wearing a mouthguard. And it's not just because he values his pearly whites.
"I originally started wearing it because our trainers thought it could possibly help my hamstring," the Diamondbacks outfielder said.
Yes, Byrnes knows that sounds strange. But look around, he said. Mouthguards are showing up everywhere on the ball field. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia reportedly was fitted for one last year. Manny Ramirez sports one in Los Angeles as does Ryan Howard in Philadelphia.
"It's supposed to relax your lower jaw, and that allows more blood flow to the brain," Howard told Philadelphia reporters.
Well, sort of.
The Pure Power Mouthguard, which is what Byrnes wears, was developed by Anil Makkar, a Nova Scotia-based dentist who has studied neuromuscular dentistry. He told the Canadian Press last October that the mouthguard doesn't increase strength, but that it can unlock an athlete's potential by enhancing strength, balance, endurance and oxygen flow.
"The jaw joint is actually the focus of power in the body because that is the most used joint in the whole body," Makkar said. "So what we're basically doing is trying to find the most comfortable position of that lower jaw. ... It relaxes all the muscles in the face and allows you (to) use more of your upper and lower body strength."
[h3]Money where the mouth is [/h3]
Diamondbacks trainers mentioned it last season to Byrnes, who was struggling with hamstring issues. They thought maybe it could help his balance and flexibility. Byrnes checked it out. He called an uncle who is a dentist in San Diego and was told this research has existed for years.
Satisfied, Byrnes went to a dentist near San Francisco and had a mouthguard fitted. It took two hours. It cost $2,000.
"I'm sold on it just because it does put your jaw in optimal position," said Byrnes, who began wearing it in spring training. "And with the tests we've done, it does improve your balance and flexibility. That's proven."
Perhaps. But the trend hasn't caught on around the Arizona clubhouse.
At least not yet.
Asked if he has considered wearing a mouthguard, left fielder Conor Jackson let out a big "Noooooo."
But isn't it supposed to help?
"No clue, dude," Jackson said.
How about you, Mark Reynolds?
"It's supposed to line your jaw up and help you breathe and a bunch of #*#*," the third baseman said.
You going to try it out?
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