A mouthguard is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any fighting sport. Sure, the gloves are iconic, but they only protect the tiny bones of the hand. The headgear sure looks safe, but its actual value in protecting against brain damage has been called into question (and pro fighters don't get to wear one anyhow). It is the humble mouthguard that ultimately keeps a fighter's teeth intact, keeps him from biting off his tongue, wards off broken mandibles, and helps cushion the brain from blows to the jaw. In the heat of battle, under attack from a determined foe, a mouthguard may be a fighter's only real line of defense.
Sane people, therefore, are quite happy to wear mouthguards. So why would someone need to create a dubious gimmick to entice people playing dangerous contact sports to wear a mouthguard? Well, I don't know. But of course, someone has. Capitalism at work.
"The challenge with current athletic mouthguards is that the experience of wearing one is just not that great," says the first line of the brochure touting MoGo: The Flavored Mouthguard. Now, let me stop you right there, MoGo: The Flavored Mouthguard. I would argue that the experience of wearing a mouthguard is great, compared to the alternative, which is tooth fragments embedded in one's tattered remains of a tongue. Compared to that, the average athletic mouthguard is quite attractive.
But not attractive enough, according to MoGo, which has, as you may have surmised, embedded flavor inside of mouthguards, resulting in The Flavored Mouthguard. It is a product that satisfies a need that no one ever had. "If only this mouthguard tasted like old gum," no boxer has ever said. (I tested these mouthguards while boxing; they could also be used in football or any other contact sport.) When I explained to the old boxing trainers in my gym that my new mouthguard was flavored, they squinted at me incomprehendingly, as if I'd told them that I would be boxing while standing on my head from now on.
Let it be acknowledged: these MoGo mouthguards are perfectly good and functional mouthguards. They are of the "boil and bite" variety, meaning that you submerge them in boiling water for a minute to soften them, then bite into them to shape them to your mouth. Their cushioning is generous. When properly fitted, they work just fine.
And the flavor? Well, the Mint flavor was not so bad at all! It had only the faintest whiff of flavor, like a piece of Doublemint that had been worked over for an hour or so. And its color scheme was a decidedly non-embarrassing shade of green. The "Bubble Gum" flavor comes in a decidedly embarrassing shade of pink. Being too insecure in my manhood to try this out personally, I passed it on to my middle-aged boxing trainer, who used it while sparring for a week. He was not a fan of the flavor, but pronounced its overall performance as "not bad." He's also given to pronouncing direct punches to his face "not bad," so keep that in perspective.
Well, how about the Orange flavor? It was the first MoGo mouthguard that I tried, and it was not an attractive experience. MoGo's particular artificial orange flavor bears an uneasy resemblance to the flavor of bile creeping up the back of your throat just before you vomit. Not, as you can imagine, the flavor that you want to experience while being punched in the gut. The flavor is not strong enough to make you conscious of it during the midst of a fight, but inserting the mouthguard at the beginning of each round provides a brief burst of Sickly Orange aroma. It's a distraction.
Mouthguards should ideally be clear, or, if colorful, should boast a color scheme that makes a statement, like the colors of your country's flag, or a "scary fang" print to intimidate your opponent. MoGo's color scheme is simply a solid black of Crayola-like color, which is neither inspiring nor intimidating. Also, these mouthguards feature a "tether" hole in the front, so they can be attached to a helmet, should the sport require it. That's fine for football players, but for boxing, it just creates an overhanging bucktooth-like rubber protrusion on the front that is better if snipped off.
MoGo makes a flavored mouthguard designed to be worn with braces as well. Thoughtful, but if your child already has to suffer the indignities of boxing with braces, the least you can do is not also force him to wear a Fruit Punch-flavored mouthguard. The kid has suffered enough.
At $11.99, the MoGo mouthguards are actually quite well priced. They're several dollars cheaper than the average regular mouthguard of the same quality. They presumably knocked off a few bucks to make up for the flavor.
The MoGo Flavored Mouthguard may be studied in business schools for generations to come as a case study in "Meeting a Demand That Doesn't Exist." The only thing better than this new product is the old product that it supposedly improved upon.
Hamilton Nolan writes for Gawker and boxes poorly in his spare time.
Horse hooves will be envious, I think.
Just think, these athletes will not only put their foot in their mouths, they'll put a horse foot, lol. ;)
Mouth guards are chewed on when athletes are idle, I would expect that would increase by adding flavor. More chewing shortens the life span of the guard, so you by another one. Bigger profits induce a salivary response for MoGo.
instead of flavors let's add some performance enhancing drugs... FAIL! I hope they don't abuse it.
As a highschool athlete a few years ago I can tell you that people have been favouring mouth guards for years. Cut a hole in an orange and shove the mouth guard in. Let it sit for a day or so and you've got an orange flavoured guard for a few weeks worth of hockey games and practices.
What a lame article. Obviously the flavor isn't to entice people to wear mouthguards that never did, it's to entice people to buy their mouthguard over a competitors. You're basically saying "hey, look at these idiots that make blue shirts, everybody that wears shirts can already buy white ones".
Besides, I always added Kool-Aid to the water when molding my mouthguards. It makes them taste better and makes you salivate which keeps your mouth from drying out which happens easily and is very uncomfortable when wearing a mouthguard.
How about some actual information or *gasp* science instead of thoughtlessly bashing something?
I can not tell you how Bad I feel for you, not understanding the premise of the mouthguard. As a mom of children that play ice hockey, and deck hockey it is most obvious that you don't have children!
Any parent can tell you that just because it is the MOST IMPORTANT piece of equipment(which in reality that would be the male cup protector) does not make it any more compelling or attractive for a child to wear! These mouthguards take the plastic taste out of the mouth guard and provide a refreshing different taste. Children in sports are a tough sell on mouthguards. Just because they should, does not mean they do. Plain and simple. I can tell you, we have reviewed them, EXTENSIVELY, and they are amazing. They work as they say they do and..
I find it insulting that you look at the pink in the negative fashion that you do. If you are truly of the sports world, are you not like most organization that actively seek out PINK gear showing full SUPPORT of BREAST CANCER awareness? Many sports leagues/professionals seek ANYTHING pink they can use and support Breast Cancer. You need to think OUTSIDE the box. The ENTIRE MONTH OF OCTOBER is dedicated to this cause.
Additionally, what about GIRLS in sports? I am guessing they do not count in your world or is this just about ridiculing a product you may not truly comprehend? Take off the blinders and see past your own sport, there are other sports(possibly not so 'manly') that would actually find it quite compelling to use these guards.
Dry mouth is a serious problem during sports that are in constant motion, like Hockey, Football etc., and the way that this allows the mouth to salivate due to taste is important . The fact that there are more aspects that you chose to cover in your review is an unfair assessment of the product. I would welcome you to read other reviews on this at Pittsburgh Frugal Mom or A Hockey Mom Reviews. They were used --- while not in a wrestling fashion in OTHER sports. A fair review means looking at all over application, and actually seeing if the reasoning for creation, such as dry mouth or taste might actually help someone want to wear them. It is possible this mouthguard is not for you, but it is at a GREAT PRICE point and the flavors help parents encourage kids to wear them!
I disagree with the negative in the article. I actually had an opportunity to try all the flavors and liked the taste even the bubble gum which is surprising because usually bubble gum tastes nasty. I agree the flavor is only hint, but the benefit is that when its wet, it feels like it activates the flavor so you really taste it when you put in your mouth. The other thing is that is smells great! My season ended over a month ago and I recently moved some of football stuff and my fruit punch mouthguard stlll smelled great. I actually did a review... feel free to check it out.
I agree with the last few statements. The author of this article just doesn't get what a great idea this is. He obviously has no kids and has never played sports! He has no clue of what it's like to get your kid to keep the mouthguard in their mouth. The funniest thing is that the author doesn't seem to have any "scientific" knowledge either. Let me sum it up...this is an amazing idea. My kids (playing football and hockey) love these mouthguards. I will continue to buy them and would recommend them to anyone.
The tease for the article asked "Delicious or Dumb"? And you asked an amateur boxer for the answer? Really? What happened to some scientific analysis or commentary? Is this what we should come to expect from Popular Science now? Sensational rants, TMZ-like commentary. What do professional athletes think of the product? How about young athletes? Maybe some parents? Or would that be too much work? Pathetic, Hamilton has clearly been hit in the head one too many times.
I actually thought that this was one of the more enjoyable PopSci articles.
Yes, it was written by a boxer, but it was funny. In his sport, flavored mouthguards probably won't go over very well. He didn't pretend to be viewing it from the perspective of any other sport.
As for the science, he did give a fair description of the product, and stated that it was effective. He also commented on the flavors.
It wasn't another salute to Apple or some thinly described politics. Take what you can get.
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Assuming the majority of this site (not all there are exceptions like myself) who are avidly involved in contact sports ... mouthguards are quite unpleasent if the mouthguard is fresh or is too big or isnt breathable they can make you gag like no other. profit is definitely the main thing driving the invention of this but they wouldnt sell if athletes didnt want them lol i have a flavored mouthguard and i love it these things rock