Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a contact sport. As with all other contact sports, especially martial arts, protection must be paramount in both training and competition. Even though BJJ is not a sport where strikes are exchanged on a regular basis, accidents still happen. So, protecting our most vulnerable body parts like upper and lower teeth with mouth guards has to be a priority. You might not like it, but wearing a BJJ mouthguard simply must be a part of your everyday training.
Why Mouth Guards In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
The “trouble” with grappling martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that every part of our body falls under the “vulnerable” category. Well, maybe not vulnerable but definitely susceptible at the very least.
In that sense, different supportive gear products are available for different body parts. However, the one thing each of us needs is a good, durable, and comfortable mouthpiece. Hence, we made it our task to go through all the available options and pinpoint the Best BJJ Mouthguard options that you can get in 2023!
Training BJJ on a regular basis for more than a year results in two certain things. One is that you’ll see huge technical and tactical progress since your first class. the second is that you’ll be in need of some piece of protective gear. It may be as subtle as finger tape or as crucial as an injury-specific knee or elbow brace. However, if there’s one piece of gear that everyone needs, it’s a mouthguard.
Protecting the teeth and gums is both very important and very easy, once you know what the best mouthguard for BJJ and grappling sports is. Unlike other pieces of supportive gear, mouthguards are there to prevent injuries instead of helping you get through them. This makes selecting a really good one a very important step, especially if you are a competitor.
As usual, before jumping into the business of outlining why certain products fit the best BJJ mouthguard standards, we first have to set some standards. And, to do that, we have to understand what it is we are looking for in a good mouth guard. It is actually pretty similar to BJJ in that sense.
The Anatomy Of A Reliable BJJ Mouth Guard
A mouthguard is a piece of protective gear that’s flexible and depending on the type, able for custom fitting. Its main area of protection is the teeth, but it also helps protect certain parts of the gums. There are two types of mouth guards related to the area of protection.
- Upper teeth or gum protection mouth guards are ones we usually use and see in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu People prefer these because it’s much easier to breathe, and when you close your mouth your lower teeth are pretty well protected too
- Double teeth protection mouth guards offer complete and extra protection of your teeth. The main problem with this type is that there’s usually some space missing for full breathing when you’re tired or exhausted.
Three Types Of Mouth Guards
There are three types of mouth guards for contact sports, and so for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- Stock mouth guards are ready-made and preformed, making them quick and easy to put on. Made of rubber and comes in just one shape, often very uncomfortable for wearing. They’re reasonably priced and available at most sporting goods shops as well as department stores. However, little may be done to alter their fit, as they are large, make breathing and talking difficult, and provide minimal or no protection. They are not advised by dentists.
- Boil and bite mouth guards, which may be found in sporting goods stores, might be a more comfortable fit than standard mouth guards. They’re made from a thermoplastic material (EVA) and need some molding in order to get a good fit. They’re quite easy to use though and offer solid protection. To soften it, it is immersed in boiling water. It’s then molded around the teeth with finger and tongue pressure for better adjustments.
- Custom mouth guards are made in a dental practice or a laboratory that specializes in dentistry. The first step is to take an impression of your teeth and create a custom mouth guard from a unique material. Due to the unique material and additional time and labor, this bespoke mouth guard is more expensive than other types. But it provides the most comfort, great impact protection, and is specifically designed to fit properly. If you’re looking for the best mouth guards, a custom-fitted mouthguard should be your first choice. Getting a dental warranty for this type of sports equipment is mandatory.
Finally, there’s the aspect of innovative materials for mouth guards. Today, there are BJJ mouthguards made from an acrylic material that also features gel filling for more protection.
What To Look For In A BJJ Mouthguard
In case you are wondering if you should wear a mouthguard during training and competition the answer is yes. It doesn’t matter if you feel uncomfortable with it, everyone needs to wear one. That said, in training, there’s no need to wear it constantly. Just put it while you’re rolling and you’ll be more than fine. In the case of braces or other orthodontic gear, you’ll have to have one a tall times, with no exceptions.
So, when you’re looking to get yourself a mouthguard, make sure you’re aware of the following characteristics. First of all, you need to be able to breathe and speak with it. This implies a certain level of comfort that’s absolutely necessary when you engage in a complicated contact sport like BJJ.
Next up, fitting. If your mouthguard doesn’t cover everything in a smooth and fixed manner, it’s not a good choice. It needs to stay in place even during the fastest movements. It also needs to last longer and be easy to maintain and clean. Of course, the material must not allow your mouthguard to deform or tear easily. Finally, it has to be tasteless and odor-resistant.
Below, you’ll see a selection of mouthguards that fills all these criteria as you’re searching for the best BJJ mouthguard for yourself.
The Best BJJ Mouthguard Options Of 2023
Without further ado, let’s go straight into our selection. We spent considerable time sifting through what’s good and have tried the products ourselves. Below is the list of mouthguards that are going to keep your teeth safely in place in 2023, whether you just like to roll or are a fierce competitor as well. As far as we’re concerned, all of these options fit the best criteria for it!
First up, one of my personal favorites. I am not a big fan of Venum’s Gi range, or shorts, for that matter, but this is a masterpiece. The Venum “Challenger” mouthguard is by far the best BJJ mouthguard you can get in 2023. It ticks all the boxes before you even check. One of the main caveats of this mouthguard is its size. This mouthguard is probably the smallest one you’ll see on offer. That, however, does not mean it is going to lack protection or fit unsatisfactory. On the contrary.
The modern design provides you with unrestricted airflow while offering maximum protection. Inside, it has a gel frame that ensures you can fit it to fit your jaw to perfection. Another great benefit is that it is incredibly comfortable.
In fact, this is the most comfortable mouthguard I’ve ever worn. It has double layers for increased protection, is very soft and flexible, and is one of the most durable mouthguard options out there.
The SISU 1.6 Aero Guard is considered by many to be the best mouthguard of all time. Or at least until SISU come up with a better version. As far as dental protection goes, this is definitely one of the top options you can use in any sport, not just BJJ. In terms of size, this mouthguard might seem too thin to be effective.
This is not true. Although it is up to 50% thinner than your regular mouthguard, it actually offers more protection than most other related products. Because of this, it fits perfectly providing complete protection against all kinds of trauma.
This mouthguard’s main attraction is how it fits .you can custom fit it so well, that you’ll have no trouble talking and even drinking with the mouthpiece on. This means that you’re breathing is completely unaffected as well. Hygiene is a non-issue and it is going to last at least as long as all the other products on this list.
In the Shock Doctor category, there are actually two best BJJ mouthguard contenders. Shock Doctor’s products were the first I used when I started training BJJ. The first one is the Shock Doctor pro, a mouthguard that’ll satisfy even the pickiest of grapplers. First of all, it works for both adults and children.
Another lightweight, double-layered mouthguard, offers complete protection of the oral cavity. Actually, this one even has additional features, like a bumper that absorbs a force, and even pads for your jaw. This feature means your entire mouth is protected from all sides.
The Shock Doctor Gel Max mouthguard is another one of their products that we can’t skip over. As far as I know, they were among the first to feature gel technology. Their gel-fit system makes sure you’ll never have to bite down on your mouthguard. Instead, it clings to your teeth effortlessly once you custom-fit it.
An original feature is the so-called Exoskeletal frame, which is essentially a heavy-duty rubber frame for maximal protection. Plus, you can boil and bite them, and reshape them as many times as needed to achieve the perfect fit!
The Sanabul mouthguard is a bite-and-boil mouthguard that offers a lot of benefits for grapplers. One of its main characteristics is airflow technology. This mouthguard has one unfair advantage over all others – you can barely feel that it is there. One reason for that is that it allows you to trim away unnecessary parts after you boil and mold them.
The Sanabul is also one of the easiest mouthguards to clean and maintain. You won’t need any extra time or effort to keep it fresh hand-ready for your next roll. On top of everything, it is the cheapest piece of protective gear on our best BJJ mouthguard list. While the material is not as thin as with some of the previous products on this list, not feeling its presence more than makes up for it.
If you thought Under Armor was only good for making rashguards, you’re mistaken. Their ArmourFit mouthguard happens to be one of the top pieces of protective dental gear you can find on the market. A lot of work has gone into making this mouthguard fit your jaw perfectly so that it doesn’t bother you when you train. The end result is a complete success – a dentist-like fit. Another cool feature of the ArmourFit is that it is a chew-resistant mouthguard.
Similar to the Venum and SASU mouthguards, the ArmorFit is incredibly thin yet durable, It is optimized to ensure airflow is uninterrupted even when you’re dead tired. It is a mouthguard that’s really easy to mold and even stands for multiple remoldings if needed. It also comes in 10 different colors and a simple yet attractive design.
The ProDefenda mouthguard might not be something you’re as aware of as perhaps Venum or Under Armor. This is completely understandable as they’re not a big BJJ company. What they do, though, is making a really mean mouthguard. It comes in a simple design and only two main colors – black and white. however, what it “lacks” in design it more than improves upon in effect. This is a fairly thick mouthguard, meaning protection is more than guaranteed.
What makes the ProDefenda the best BJJ mouthguard contender, in addition to incredible protection, is its airflow technology. It has a built-in airflow device at the back, allowing for ais to circulate continuously and freely. This is one mouthguard you absolutely need to consider if you’re an active competitor as you’ll hardly get better protection than this. And yeah, it’ll do its job even if you’re into Combat Jiu-Jitsu.,
Last but not least, we have the Impact Custom Mouthguard. The impact is a mouthguard that, if nothing else, endured the test of time. And it did it with an impeccable record. One unique characteristic is that you can actually choose the thickness you want. So far, their range goes from 5 mm to 7 mm.
This mouthguard is made out of BPA-free plastic and is one of the tightest fitting products in this category. It is also a boil-and-bite mouthguard, yet with a different flair. the first time you order an Impact Custom Mouthguard, you won’t receive one. All you’ll get is mold, that you need to use on your mouth and then return to the company. then, they’ll make a custom-fit mouthguard from scratch that’s only going to fit you.
Benefits Of Wearing A Mouthguard For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
The most obvious reasons for including a BJJ mouthguard in your daily Jiu-Jitsu training are protection against chipped teeth, roots, and bone damage. What people usually fail to grasp is that a mouthguard also protects the soft tissues of your mouth, which include the lips, tongue, and cheeks. The protection here is against your own teeth, which are not going to be able to bump into soft tissues causing tears and wounds.
There’s also very serious protection against serious injuries, the likes of jaw fractures, concussions, potential neck injuries and even bleeding inside the brain. This is done via the prevention of direct violent contact between the upper and lower jaw. In that sense, it can be a lifesaver, which is a great reason why nothing but the very best BJJ mouthguard should be an option you’re considering.
There’s also a not-so-obvious reason why you need mouthguards when you train BJJ. Having something jammed inside your mouth means that you need to be able to breathe correctly. This ensures that you have sufficient conditioning and the calmness of nerves to keep your breathing patterns in a line. A good tip is to wear your mouthguard while you’re training to condition so that you can get used to it.
Can I wear Mouth Guard If I wear braces?
Yes, indeed, because braces or other fixed appliances might be damaged by a facial injury. A properly fitted mouth guard may be especially vital for individuals who wear braces or have fixed bridgework.
Your dentist or orthodontist can recommend the best mouth guard to protect your specific type of dental treatment.
Another important note: do not use any dental retainers or other removable appliances while participating in contact sports or engaging in other activities that put your mouth at risk of harm. Although braces, Invisalign trays, and other similar devices are not recommended during sports, some people wear them in the meantime. If you’re wearing Invisalign trays while training BJJ, talk to your dentist about whether or not and how you should do so.
Taking Care Of Your Mouth Guard
Finally, once you actually invest in one of the best BJJ mouthguard options we put as the best, you’ll need to make sure it lasts. One main thing to focus on is hygiene and maintaining its quality in a few simple steps:
- Rinse your mouth guard with either cold water, mouth rinse, or clean it with a mild soap
- Put your mouthguard in a plastic container to store it
- Always protect your mouth guard from high temperatures – hot water, direct sunlight, or any kind of hot surface to maintain its shape
- Check your mouth guard from time to time to make sure there are no holes or tears so it doesn’t lose its shape or cause discomfort
You’ll need to clean your mouthguard on a regular basis, which means after each and every time you wear it. Washing it with water and soap in a sink straight after training is one great and easy option. You can then air dry it or use a towel. Remember to keep moisture away when you’re not actually using your mouthguard. If you want more thorough options you can also use a toothbrush to rinse and even dip it in hydrogen peroxide solution for a few minutes from time to time.
Molding Your Mouthguard
On the subject of boiling and molding a brand new mouth guard, most of them have clear directions included in the package. However, the main things to know are boiling water, a container of ice water, and some tongs to avoid burning yourself. Leave the mouthguard in there until it is pliable but not too soft. Use tongs to extract, but be gentle so that you do not leave impressions. After leaving the mouthguard to cool a bit (enough so that you can bite) you can place it in your mouth and mold it. Once you have everything you need, put it in the container with ice water so that it sets.