Do you want to hear something I heard recently?
I heard someone say that boxers and combat sports athletes who say mouthguards are not necessary are usually the ones who have not taken a strong hit to the mouth.
One headbutt or elbow to the mouth is usually enough to convince any athlete of the value of wearing a mouthguard.
Fact: If you box, grapple or spar long enough, it is not a question of if you will get hit, but when.
In this short guide I will discuss how mouthguards work, what they actually protect, go over the different styles and customization options, and finish of with a review of 10 of the best boxing mouthguards and best mouthguard for MMA
What Specifically Do Mouthguards Protect?
Some skeptics may say that mouthguards don’t help prevent injury, and while they can not prevent every type of injury, they do offer protection.
Mouthguards prevent many types of sports related dental injury.
This study stresses the importance of wearing a mouthguard while boxing and blames the absence of a mouthguard on lateral luxation of one amateur boxing.
Lateral luxation is displacement of the tooth and damage to or fracture of the bone holding the tooth in.
- Prevent top and bottom teeth from slamming into each other and chipping.
- Prevents lateral luxation – movement or the tooth and damage or fracture to underlying bone.
- Prevent broken teeth by dispersing shock among all teeth instead of a few.
- Prevent severe cuts to the inner cheek and tongue by covering and creating a smooth surface around the teeth.
What Mouthguards Can Not Do?
Mouthguards can not prevent concussions. A concussion is causes by the rapid movement of the head in one direction, as would happen with a hit, kick, knee or elbow to the face.
The rapid movement causes the brain to slam into the skull, which is what causes a concussion, and a mouthguard can not stop this.
Should I Go for a Double or Single Mouthguard?
The truth is the majority of boxers and contact sports athletes wear a single sided mouthguard worn on the top teeth.
While conventional wisdom may say that a double is more protective, there are several reasons doubles are not commonly worn.
Let’s review the pros and cons of each style.
Double Sided Mouthguards
- This style trains you to keep your mouth closed at all times, because that is how they are held in. This reportedly helps prevent jaw injury.
- Protects both lower and upper teeth at the same time.
- Double sided mouthguards are very hard to breathe through.
- You absolutely can not talk or drink water while wearing a double sided mouthguard.
Single Sided Mouth Guards
- More comfortable than a double.
- Can talk, breathe and drink water while wearing.
- Does not force you to keep your mouth closed- a closed mouth is known to help prevent injury, just like keeping your chin down and guard up.
Boil and Bite, Custom Fit or One that You Wear Right out of the Package?
What is Better?
The most common style available are boil and bite styles, where you place the mouthguard in a little hot water and mold it to your teeth which can be done from home.
Man say custom mouthguards are the only way to go but these are expensive and usually require a trip to a specialists.
There is one mouthguard in my reviews below that is a custom style you can do from home so be sure to check that out.
Boil and Bite
These guards are made with heat sensitive material that becomes soft in hot water. You generally need to boil water, place the mouthguard in the hot water for a set period of time, remove the guard and place it in your mouth to complete the mold.
These offer a good custom fit, but not quite as form fitting as custom made guards.
This style involves making a cast mold of your teeth. The dentist or professional uses the mold to make an identical form of your teeth for a mouthguard that fits perfectly.
This style is more expensive and takes longer t receive. Usually a visit to the dentist is necessary, but the impact mouthguard listed below can be ordered and molded from home, and you then mail the mold back to the company who then manufactures the mouthguard and sends it back to you, all for under 100 dollars.
Out of The Box-Off the Shelf Style
This style is common in big box stores and sporting goods stores.
They are the easiest to find and usually the least expensive, but they often have a crappy fit. A custom or boil and bite style is preferred.
What is the Best Way to Clean a Mouthguard?
- Rinse it with some warm water.
- Lightly brush it with your toothbrush (don’t use toothpaste!).
- Allow it to dry.
- Put it back in its case.
Warning: Don’t Use toothpaste. It is too harsh on the material mouthguards are made of and can break them down.
For deep cleanings you can soak the guard in denture cleaner for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing and drying.
Top 10 Best MMA and Boxing Mouthguard Reviews 2022
1. Venum Challenger
This single piece mouthguard by Venum is made for boxing and martial arts. It is a “boil and bite” style, designed for you to heat the guard and form it to your mouth.
This is one of the most popular mouthguards available and many say the best mouthguard for martial arts.
It is not so long that it gags you, and you are able to breathe using it with your mouth closed.
- Nexgel frame, simply boil, wait a bit and fit in your mouth.
- Includes carry storage case.
- Breathing channel in the center of the guard.
- On the small side, but works well for those with small mouths.
The Venum Challenger is one of the best mouthguard for Jiu Jitsu, MMA and all martial arts.
2. Sisu Aero
This Aero model Sisu mouthguard is one of the thinnest available on the market.
You can talk, breathe and even drink with the mouthguard in place. It stays secure and won’t fall out, in fact some say it is too secure and find it a challenge to remove.
The guard does not go so far back into the mouth that it causes gagging, which is nice.
- 1.6 mm thick, very comfortable.
- Diffusix technology plastic designed to spread the impact among all teeth and lessen the chance of damage.
- Company offers a limited dental warranty/guarantee.
- The small holes in the mouthguard may rub your inner lip area.
The mouthguard that feels the closest to wearing noting at all, easily the most comfortable mouthguard for MMA.
3. Impact Custom Professional
This kit is for a truly made custom mouthguard. Once you order the kit, they send you what you need to make a mold of your teeth, you send the mold back on their dime and they mail you your custom mouthguard, all at a price much lower than the dentist.
This has to be one of the best mouthguard for MMA I have seen.
- 6-7mm thickness, optimal protection with a minimalist feel.
- Kit includes three size trays so you are sure to get the best fit for you.
- Breathe, talk and drink with this mouthguard in place.
- Taking the mold is awkward-but worth it.
One of the only true custom mouthguards you can do from home, and one of the best mouthguard for martial arts.
4. Opro Platinum
This boil and bite single side mouthguard is very popular among boxers and martial artists.
The molding process is easy and you will instantly have a mouthguard made just for your mouth. The inner surface molds to your teeth while the outer tray portion remains firm and protects your teeth.
- Includes carry case.
- Stays in without fuss.
- Boil and bite inner mold, with firm shell outer.
- Includes limited dental warranty from manufacturer.
- Runs large.
The best mouthpiece for MMA for athletes with a large mouth.
5. Under Armour ArmourFit
This single piece boil and bite mouthguard is as easy as it gets, they can even be heated in a mug in the microwave.
It has a low profile because it is just one piece, which makes breathing and talking easier when you are wearing it.
- Slim fit, not bulky.
- Stays in place.
- Easy to fit with a simple heat and mold process.
- No case included.
The UA ArmourFit is a good mouthguard for boxing, simple, lean and comfortable.
6. Everlast Evershield
This heavy duty double mouthguard is one of the top boxing mouth guards.
It is soft and shock absorbing on the inside, firm and shock dispersing on the outside, plus in covers top and bottom teeth and is the boil and bite style so you can get a perfect fit.
- Double guard, protects top and bottom teeth.
- Softer inner and hard shell outer for superior shock absorbing.
- Boil and bite design for a good fit.
- Challenging to breath in.
The Everlast Evershield is the best double mouthguard for boxing.
7. Venum Predator
This single side boil and bite style mouthguard is an affordable choice from Venum. It is designed to have a durable rubber shell, with a moldable shock absorbing inner shell.
The predator version is different from the challenger version because in addition to the two layers just mentioned, there is a third layer between those designed to reduce collision, making this mouthguard perfect for contact sports.
- Three layers, hard rubber outer, collision reducing core, and softer moldable gel inner-for combat and contact sports.
- Boil and bite style.
- Case included.
- Slightly large and bulky.
This is both one of the best boxing mouthpieces and best for any contact sport.
8. Shock Doctor Max Airflow
This Shock Doctor Max airflow mouthguard fits as in and required no molding.
It has a large air flow chamber in the center that allows ample air so you will not struggle to breath while using it and not need to remove it as often.
It comes in youth and adult sizes and a variety of patterns and colors. This is one of the best mouthguard for Jiu Jitsu, MMA, and any contact sport.
- Large air channel so you can breath.
- No need to heat and mold.
- Compatible with braces.
- Some users have experienced the inner gel cracking after use.
The best mouthguard for boxing and all contact sports, especially if you wear braces.
9. Shurfit Thermaguard
These slim fitting Shurfit mouthguards are made in the USA and use a boil and bite technology that gives a great fit.
They can be re-boiled and redone up to 20 times if needed. They have one unique feature many like, when they heat up over 102 degrees they change color.
The company claims this helps prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.
In addition to that you can drink and talk with this mouthguard in so you stay hydrated.
- Slim comfortable fit.
- Boil and bite fit-molds to your teeth.
- Changes color to indicate temp over 102 degrees.
- Instructions not included on how to mold the mouthguard.
One of the most comfortable, best boxing mouthguards available, and you can leave it in as you sip water between rounds.
10. Sisu Max
This Sisu is relatively thicker than the Aero model, at 2.4 mm, but is still very slim fitting. It is built for harder hits and higher impacts.
Between the Aero model and the max model, the max is the best mouthguard for boxing. It has a wider bite pad and more rounded edges than the original for greater comfort with your mouth closed.
- Can talk, breathe and drink with this mouthguard in place.
- 2.4 mm thick, very slim fitting.
- Stay in well, adhere to teeth and gums.
- No case included.
This is the best boxing mouthpiece for boxers who must have a slim low profile mouthguard.
I am a big fan of the Impact mouthguard since it is a truly custom mouthguard at an awesome price.
I also like the boil and bite styles like the SISU Max as the best mouthguard for MMA and the Venum Challenger as the best boxing mouthguard. Both these are both designed for harder impacts.
Don’t put off protecting your teeth, it is just too risky, not to mention painful, to do so.
I am sure you will find the perfect mouthguard in this carefully compiled list.