What are the best mouthguards for MMA, BJJ, and boxing
Long gone are the days when you could recognize a fighter with the first glance at his face. Today there are many pretty boys in the fight game and the mouth guard is one of the reasons they still have a sparkling smile while trading face punches for a living.
You may not do martial arts professionally, but even at the lowest level, it’s inevitable to take a few knocks on the face regardless of discipline. Be it a punch, kick, elbow, a knee while grappling, or a shoulder when wrestling your face will get hit. This is why you ALWAYS need to wear a mouthguard.
Our job at MMA Gear Addicts is to help you find the best gear for your martial arts practice, so you can be comfortable, confident, and protected while focusing on the important stuff-getting better. In this guide, we will walk you through a few different types of mouthguards, explain how to use them, and make your choice easier.
A quick top 3 of the best mouthguards
Five reasons why it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard
While there are more, we will give 5 very good reasons why you should choose a good and reliable mouthpiece for MMA, Boxing, muay Thai, karate, or BJJ training.
- Cushions teeth against impact- The most obvious benefit is that the mouth guard will save your teeth from chipping or breaking. Sometimes even a light grazing strike at the wrong moment can close your mouth rapidly and a tooth can be chipped.
- Protects the jaw from injuries- The jaw is very susceptible to injuries in combat sports, as it’s one of the main targets. It’s also a complex structure containing different bones, tendons, and soft tissue. When you wear a mouth guard the impact to the jaw is lowered
- Protects the tongue and soft tissues- The mouth guard absorbs the force of strikes and prevents the lips from clashing in your teeth, while also protecting the tongue from being bit.
- Helps the neck- As we mentioned before, the mouth guard lessens the impact of the strike by decreasing its force and distributing it on a wider area. This way the force applied to the neck is also lowered.
- Reduces concussions- in continuation from the previous point, wearing a mouth guard helps tightens the jaw and face muscles. By distributing the blow, your mouthguard reduces the amount of damage absorbed by the entire head and by the brain. And brain damage means concussions.
Custom vs Boil and bite mouthguards
There is no doubt the best possible option is to get a custom-molded mouthguard. It is designed specifically for your teeth and you get the best possible fit, without having to go through the trouble of doing it yourself. A special mold is used by a specialist or dentist that uses your exact measures and preferences to make a custom mouthpiece.
Although this is the best option, it’s significantly more expensive and also depending on where you live, there may be no such services available.
Boil and byte
On the other hand, are the vastly more popular and commercially available boil and bite mouthguards. They come in a standard shape, depending on the model. You have to boil the mouthpiece for about 30 seconds and then place it in your mouth and suck it until it gets colder in its new form. When molded correctly the boil and bite guard is very reliable and to be honest most martial arts practitioners and even some pros use them.
The downside is that if not boiled right, the mouth guard may be very uncomfortable and will provide near-zero protection.
Size and style considerations
When choosing your mouthguard, you also have to think about the size. As we already said, some of the standard guards come in one size only (depending on the brand). You need to make sure the size is right, so you can breathe easier and are fully protected. The mouth guard should stay secure on the upper teeth even when you talk, if you have to bite or clench your jaw to keep it in place, it means it’s eighter not boiled correctly, or just very wrong size.
On the other hand, some mouthpieces may be too big for your mouth which may also be a problem, especially if you are new and are not used to wearing one.
The last factor is the design and looks. There is a myriad of styles, colors, and designs to choose from. It’s always nice to have a cool MMA mouthguard that makes you look like a badass. Some brands offer custom colors or texts.
Let’s take a look at our top offers for a fighting mouthguard
1. Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouth Guard
Our top choice for an all-around great mouthguard is the Shock Doctor Gel Max. Shock Doctor have forged a very good name in protective accessories and you can be certain of the quality when buying their products.
The Gel Max model features their trademark gel-fit liner technology that ensures a quick fit after boiling. It has a three-layer design for maximum shock absorption. The outer layer is a durable rubber Exoskeletal shock frame and the bulk middle layer is the Gel-fit liner.
Shock Doctor has found a solution to one of the most common problems with mouthguards and that is breathability. This model has specially designed breathing channels, to help you get every ounce of precious in the most desperate situations.
A nice addition missing from most other mouthguards is the flavor. You can choose a bubble gum-flavored mouthpiece. I doubt that many adults will choose this, but it’s definitely a great idea for the kid’s models. Speaking of kids, the Gel Max model comes in two sizes- adult and youth. Some users complain that the youth ones come a bit small, so please have this in mind.
- Superior protection
- Lots of colors for a cool look
- A well-trusted brand for protective gear
- Integrated breathing channels
- Triple-layer design
- Convertible Tether
- Quite bulky
- Child sizes are a bit small
2. Venum challenger mouthguard
No MMA and BJJ gear guide can be complete without Venum. They are one of the leading brands in MMA and combat sports and their name and logo are held in very high regard in MMA and BJJ circles. Their Challenger model is by far the most successful one.
It is a little thinner than the Venum Predator (not on this list) but still offers great protection with a high-density rubber exterior and gel interior. The overall size is probably the best middle ground between comfort and protection. Breathing and drinking are not a problem with this mouthpiece.
The lower rubber frame is specially designed to break the shock wave and disperse it, while also provides a good grip for your lower teeth when you clench them together. As with most (sadly not all) mouth guards, there is a nice sanitary case included.
- Designed for MMA fighters
- Made in Thailand
- Nexfit gelframe for great fit and comfort
- Good shock management by the lower rubber frame
- Easy to make correctly
- Smaller than most models
3. Sisu Mouth Guard
The Sisu mouthguard easily wins the prize for the most comfortable mouthguard. The difference from the other options is visible at first glance. Sisu calls this Aero mouthguard. The thickness is only 1.6 mm and doesn’t restrict breathing, talking, and drinking almost at all.
However, this is a mouthguard and it’s supposed to protect your teeth first and foremost and it does that very well. The motto of the company is “More protection, less mouthguard” and we can tell you it’s not just pretty words. The Aero mouthguards are used for a lot of different sports, like football and basketball where the hits to the teeth are not as frequent like in combat sports, but this piece is very capable and will protect all you fighters as well. The trick is done thanks to their Diffusix technology which distributes the force across the mouth guard and diffuses it.
Another pro of the Sisu is that it comes in 3 different sizes, so if you read their guide you can be sure that you will choose the right one.
However, we have a slight grievance with Sisu. The protective case to carry the mouthpiece is NOT included in the package and you have to buy it separately.
- Just 1.6 mm. thin
- Amazing breathability
- Outstanding comfort
- 3 sizes to choose from
- Wider bite pad
- Difficult to mold
- No protective case
4. Impact Custom Professional MMA mouthguard
As we’ve said custom-molded mouthguards are the best. They are made especially for you and offer the most comfortable fit with the most protection. Impact custom professional mouthguards are designed with MMA fighters and their needs in mind. Being the toughest and most dangerous sport, it also requires the best protection.
The Impact piece is 5 do 7 mm. for excellent absorption of all blows. This may sound a lot, but the custom-made guard is produced in such a way that the extra thickness does not inhibit breathing. The material is also completely free of BPA chemicals.
The Impact Professional mouthpiece is probably the best custom guard on Amazon. If you buy it you will receive a molding kit that’s relatively easy to use. After you are done you send it back to the manufacturer who makes your custom guard. Impact offers more than 100 designs including tigers, flags, dollar bills, and a lot of other cool things.
If you are a professional fighter, be it MMA, boxing, karate, or muay thai a custom mouth guard should be your first choice. Of course, this option costs significantly more than your standard boil at the home mouthpiece.
- Custom mouthguard
- Perfect fit
- Breathing and talking are easy despite the big thickness
- Professional level
- Huge amount of designs
- Significantly more expensive than standard mouthpieces
- Takes longer to receive a ready to use product
5. SAFEJAWZ mouthguard
Safejawz is a relatively new brand on the mouthguard market but has quickly amassed great reviews on Amazon. Their first selling point is the cool designs. There are different fangs, vampire teeth, and other original designs that are quick to catch the eye.
The Safejawz mouthguard is not just look though. They do the job they are created to do- protect your teeth, jaw, and brain from damage. The contoured base protects the lower jaw against side impacts.
The Fluid Fit technology ensures a great fit when boiled correctly. If you struggle to make the perfect fit from the first try, you can have another go without having to buy another piece.
- Very cool designs
- Multiple fitting attempts
- Anti-gag due to ultra-slim profile
- Great fit
- Not as durable as others
You already know that a mouthguard is a mandatory piece of equipment for all combat sports training. It’s also frequently used in many other sports that do not place incapacitating your opponent as the primary goal. Regardless of what you choose- custom or boil and bite style mouthguard it’s very important that it fits perfectly and protects you from unnecessary harm.