The most common complaint of using a rented dive regulator is that it’s truly UNCOMFORTABLE. I came back from my 1st leisure dive trip with 2 massive ulcers on the inside of my lower jaw and a dull ache that lasted for 1.5 weeks. I had to eat my meals dolphin style and I don’t mean it in a cute sort of way.
So when I finally got my very own dive regulator, the first thing I did was to change the stock mouthpiece to a customised mouthpiece. When I first heard of “customised mouthpiece”, I thought it would involve visiting some expert mouthpiece sculptor who would charge an arm and leg.
# – My dive regulator with the stock mouthpiece. It’s so tiny and I could easily pull it out of my mouth even when I bite down hard.
It’s not like that. Far from it! In fact, customised mouth pieces are widely available in dive shops. You can customise the mouthpiece right in the comfort of your own home. The one we got is JAX Individual Mouthpiece from Mares.
# – Personalised Mares JAX Individual Mouthpiece. Selling between RM90-RM150 each depending on which shop you go to and how friendly you are with the owner. It’s available in various colours…becauce divers are fashionable people too!
So how do you change your dive regulator’s stock mouthpiece to a customised mouthpiece? It’s easy!
The most daunting part for me was actually cutting the cable tie that wrapped around the stock mouthpiece but my fears were really unfounded. You do need a really sharp knife though.
# – Carefully cut off the cable tie around the stock mouthpiece with a sharp knife.
# – Then, slowly pull the stock mouthpiece off the regulator. Set your regulator aside while you continue with personalising your mouthpiece.
# – Pour boiling hot water into a glass.
# – Dip the customisable mouthpiece into the hot water making sure only the area where your teeth rest is submerged. Leave it for 15 seconds.
DO NOT submerge the entire mouthpiece in!
# – After 15 seconds, take it out of the hot water and shake excess water off.
# – Ensuring that the word “up” on the mouthpiece is facing well…up, put it in your mouth immediately and bite down, hard and firm. Make sure your teeth are resting in the groove of the mouthpiece. Inhale any air and suck in any water through your mouth while doing this. Also, remember to massage the mouthpiece from the outside of your cheeks as it might protrude and cut the inside of your cheeks. Do this for 2 minutes.
DO NOT remove any of the black component from the mouthpiece as they help to prevent incidences of irreversible misshaping (read: biting through).
# – Remove mouthpiece from your mouth and submerge the entire mouthpiece into ice cold water for 3 minutes. Then, remove the black components from the mouthpiece and bite it again to test. If it still doesn’t feel right, repeat steps from “dipping mouthpiece in hot water” onwards till you’re absolutely comfortable with it.
# – Check out the difference between a customised mouthpiece and its original state.
# – Now, slowly put the customised mouthpiece back onto the regulator. Depending on brands of regulator, this may take some elbow grease. Again, make sure the word “up” on the mouthpiece is facing the right direction on your regulator.
# – Success!
# – With the cable tie provided, secure the new mouthpiece to your regulator. Make sure where the cable tie joins does not obstruct your face in anyway.
# – Cut off the excess cable tie with a nail clipper or a scissors. Some people like to file down the excess with an emery board.
# – Done! See the difference between the stock mouthpiece and the customised mouthpiece.
And that is how you change a dive regulator stock mouthpiece to a customised, personalised mouthpiece. I can’t wait to breathe underwater with it!