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October 2004 Vol. 19, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Get a Grip: Manta Bite Mouthpiece

from the October, 2004 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

As a long time Undercurrent subscriber, Dr. Russell Fitton says when reading our articles on Why Divers Die, “it always stood out that the cause of death often was drowning. This meant that the diver was still breathing when he lost his regulator.” Fitton theorized that a regulator mouthpiece designed to stay in an unconscious diver’s mouth “would improve on the death statistics” by extending the victim’s rescue window.

Get a Grip: Manta Bite MouthpieceSo, he created one, the Manta Bite, which features oversized “manta wings” that fit between your teeth and gums, so your cheeks, rather than your jaw, hold the mouthpiece in place. He says it locks in as the wings expand inside the cheeks, which will prevent unconscious divers from losing their mouthpieces.

But, the mouthpiece also helps a diver whose jaws ache from clamping down too hard, though it does have the two traditional nubs. It can also be helpful for a diver with removable dental appliances who finds it difficult to retain a conventional mouthpiece.

If the wings feel too large for your mouth, they can be trimmed to the desired fit. But Fitton suggests trying it a few times to determine exactly how much to trim. It does take getting used to, but I found after a few minutes it felt fine. It doesn’t seem that there would be a problem using it to share air, either.

While searching for retail distribution, Fitton has been selling the Manta Bite via scuba shows and his website. At $39.95 each, plus $6.00 for shipping and handling, it’s a pricey item, but in addition to being comfortable, it just might save your life. (www.manta-bite.com/index.asp)

–Ben Davison

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