American dentist designs special mouthguards for Angela and Christian Lee
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Mouthguards are a misunderstood piece of protective equipment that athletes and coaches alike do not always take seriously. However, it holds a much more important role than it truly appears.
It is more than just a protective oral gear to be worn for high-impact sports such as football, hockey, boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA).
Although the primary purpose of mouthguards is to protect the teeth from being chipped, fractured, or knocked out as a result of a direct blow to the face, its other key function is to serve as a shock absorber to prevent or lessen head trauma after an impact.
According to the recent study published in the May-June 2014 issue of General Dentistry, the peer reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, properly-fitted mouthguards can prevent various sports-related concussions by helping to absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck, and limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw.
As the level of competition in sports turns up a notch every single year, injuries have also increased, including cases of concussion. Several technological advances have been made to innovate and improve personal protective equipment like mouthguards.
Dr. Shaun Thompson, an American dentist who is based in Singapore, has his own contribution to make the constantly-growing sporting scene a safer playing field.
With numerous athletes seeing the benefits of wearing a mouthpiece during a game, Thompson has developed a cutting-edge mouthguard that will protect highly-trained competitors from concussion.
Thompson uses a 3D scanning technology that captures every ridge and curve of each athlete’s teeth to determine the best bite position by photographing both the upper and lower teeth. The device takes into consideration the bite optimization, which is the relationship between the top and bottom teeth when biting down.
What separates Thompson’s mouthguards from others is that it aligns the jaw to correct muscle imbalances, enhance the neuromuscular response, and increase oxygen intake. It also stabilizes the jaw and neck muscles, which supports full body alignment.
Many players in the Australian Rugby League (ARL) are currently using Thompson’s mouthguards due to its durability and protection.
After receiving the stamp of approval from numerous ARL athletes, Thompson shifts his attention to the persistently-expanding world of MMA, having ONE Championship fighters Angela and Christian Lee as his first patients.
Angela is one of the ONE Championship’s most outstanding young fighters regardless of division and weight class. Her beautiful combination of solid striking and grappling skills has proven to be a potent formula for success as she remains unbeaten in her professional MMA career.
In her last bout, Angela captured the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship belt with an awe-inspiring victory over Mei Yamaguchi.
Meanwhile, Angela’s younger brother Christian has impressed in his first few outings inside the ONE Championship cage. His growing skillset boasts unorthodox and unpredictable striking techniques, as well as technical grappling and creative submission maneuvers.
As a highly-regarded ONE Championship combatant, Christian owns three astonishing knockout victories and two spectacular submission wins.
Thompson is exultant with the fact that his intricately-engineered mouthguards will be used by the Lee siblings on a global MMA stage like ONE Championship.
“It’s incredible! It’s still surreal to me because my design will be represented by two of the best Asian fighters in a world-class organization like ONE Championship. Angela and Christian are fantastic as athletes,” he said.
As ONE Championship chiefly focuses on the safety of its fighters, Thompson assured that he is one with the MMA promotion’s advocacy.
“We are fully committed in doing the best we can to make sure that Angela and Christian are protected. We will also lend the same commitment if other fighters decide to tap our services,” he stated.
“It’s great to be part of this partnership. I am humbled with the opportunity given to me by ONE Championship. I am so happy to be involved with such a great sport like MMA,” Thompson added.
Angela will wear her custom-made mouthguard for the first time in her upcoming title defense as she faces Chinese Taipei’s Jenny Huang in the main event of ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, which takes place at the 12,000-capacity Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on 11 March.
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