No one can agree when the first mouthguard was invented and used for sporting events, but what is clear is that the first athletes to use them were boxers. Historians say Phillip Krause gets the credit for the first practical protective mouthpiece, and it found wide acceptance after a championship bout in 1921 between Jack Britton and Ted Lewis.
It wasn’t until 1947 when Los Angeles dentist Rodney O. Lilyquist made a mouthguard from transparent acrylic resin that the first reusable mouthguard came into being.
Now a company called GRiTT 3D is making a 3D printed mouthguard which they say can be created “for your whole team in minutes.”
It’s the use of 3D printing and digital scanning technology which allows the company to give each individual athlete a custom mouthguard, personalized in every aspect.
“For example, we can design a guard that accounts for the unique facial structures in young athletes aged 8 to 10. We can design for the snowboarder who needs extra protection at the bite impact points and less across the front teeth,” says Trent Sprenkle of GriTT 3D. “Or we can design for the ice hockey player with added reinforcement and protection at the front teeth. GRiTT 3D can even design a guard for the soldier with added soft tissue coverage, greater breathability and added stress or grinding protection.”
The GRiTT 3D mouthguards are created with FDA-approved materials and they say each one is NHSA compliant. Each athlete can have a dental scan created and the company says each guard features a series of patent-pending ridges to provide athletes “with a secure, comfortable fit, optimal breathability, and protection during competition.”
“Because the ridges make the guard less bulky, they allow the guard to stay more securely on the upper teeth,” Sprenkle says. “This increases breathability, provides for improved ability to communicate, and maximizes comfort. Each guard can also be personalized with team colors and logo and even an athlete’s name. We have the only custom mouthguard designed according to individual age, dental impression, and sport.”
The company plans a Kickstarter campaign, and they say that their custom mouthguards will be available for as little at $15 each.
Mouthguards are critical to keeping kids safe as they play sports, and now GRiTT 3D has developed a process to make them available with 3D printing. What do you think of this idea? Let us know in the Custom 3D Printed Sports Mouthguards forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the brief video below provided by GRiTT 3D