How To Choose A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Mouthguard

How To Choose A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Mouthguard

In BJJ, there is always a risk of suffering injuries when competing in matches. Though BJJ is a martial art that focuses on grappling rather than punches and kicks, it is still possible to damage your teeth when thrown onto the mat. The best way to protect your teeth in BJJ is to wear a mouthguard. In this article, you will learn about the importance of mouthguards and provide tips to help you select the right one for you.

1. What is a Mouthguard?

The mouthguard is a plastic cover designed to protect the teeth and gums. Children and adults can wear them around their upper and lower teeth. Mouthguards are often worn by athletes to reduce the risk of suffering oral injuries. You can easily find mouthguards at supermarkets and pharmacies; some can be custom-made to better fit the inside of your mouth.

2. Importance of Mouthguards in BJJ

A BJJ mouthguard protects your teeth to prevent them from being dislodged or knocked loose, causing bleeding in your mouth, infections, and injuries. Wearing a mouthguard can also protect your lips, cheeks, jaw, and other facial features. However, you do not need a mouthguard all the time on the mat. You can put away your mouthguard during basic drills or when practicing with a training partner in a non-competitive environment.

BJJ mouthguards are effective at reducing the force that can help cause brain trauma resulting from mouth injuries. Accidental collisions and blows to the head can cause concussions, resulting in collapses, headaches, difficulty keeping balance, etc.

3. Things to Consider When Choosing a BJJMouthguard

Make sure that a BJJ mouthguard has the following properties before purchasing:

  1. Offers optimal protection for your teeth.
  2. Allows ease of breathability and communication.
  3. Is comfortable and durable. Cheap BJJ mouthguards do not last long due to being made of low-quality materials. BJJ mouthguards must be able to handle regular use and chewing. 
  4. EVA (polyethylene-polyvinyl acetate copolymer) is the best material for mouthguards since it allows the inclusion of soft or hard layers.
  5. Fits securely in place, does not feel too loose or tight, and does not require constant adjustment.
  6. Includes a case that offers suitable protection and hygiene, and prevents bacteria from growing.
  7. According to the Australian Dental Association, an occlusal mouthguard should have a thickness of 3 mm, and a palatal mouthguard should have a thickness of 2 mm. There are also mouthguards with a thickness of 4 mm for other sports that can be used in BJJ.

4. Different Types of BJJ Mouthguards

Listed below are the types of BJJ mouthguards:

4.1. Stock Mouthguard

Stock mouthguards are the least effective but the most available BJJ mouthguards on the market. However, you must constantly adjust it around your teeth to keep it from falling off. Being made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), they do not protect the teeth completely.

Stock Mouthguard
Photo Credits: @msmfightshop

4.2. Mouth-Formed/Boil and Bite Mouthguards

A mouth-formed or boil-and-bite mouthguard is molding by placing it in boiling water, and then cooling it before being fitted against your teeth. When putting it inside your mouth, push against it with your fingers while closing your mouth. These mouthguards are readily available on the market. Boil and bite mouthguards are recommended for fully-grown children or those wearing orthodontics. They are made of thermoplastic or acrylic material and can be fitted perfectly against the shape of your teeth.

Mouth-Formed/Boil and Bite Mouthguards
Photo Credits: @dentallabsupplies

4.3. Custom Mouthguards

CustomBJJ adultmouthguards are designed by dentists after they take an impression of your upper jawbone. Custom mouthguards can have a thickness between 2-8 mm. A mouthguard witha thickness of 4 mm should offer optimal comfort and protection for BJJ fighters. They are comfortable, provide adequate coverage, allow ease of communication, and is included with dental insurance coverage. However, they are high maintenance and expensive.

Custom Mouthguards
Photo Credits: @ccdental

5. Differences Between Single and Double BJJ Mouthguards

A single mouthguard is the standard variant with durability, and breathability, and allows ease of drinking. In contrast, a double mouthguard protects the upper and lower teeth; however, it is heavier and harder to breathe unless your mouth is closed.

Listed below are the differences between single and double BJJ mouthguards:

  • Breathability: Single mouthguards are smaller, only cover the upper mouth, and allow good breathability. Meanwhile, double mouthguards are heavier and only have small pores, making breathing slightly harder.
  • Comfort: Single mouthguards are easier to remove from your mouth, while double ones can be difficult to fit in your mouth if your teeth are not properly aligned. To ensure optimal fitting, custom BJJ mouthguards are the best option.
  • Protection: Double mouthguards offer better protection since they cover all of your teeth. On the other hand, a single mouthguard cannot prevent serious injury to your bottom teeth if you are hit in the face.
  • Impact: Impacts can potentially damage soft tissue in your mouth. Double mouthguards have been subject to a lot more criticism than single ones due to offering little soft tissue protection. As an alternative, custom BJJmouthguards are recommended for optimal impact resistance and soft tissue protection.
  • Compatible with Braces: Most double mouthguards can be used by people with braces.

6. Top BJJ Mouthguards of 2023

6.1. Venum Challenger Mouthguard

The Venum Challenger Mouthguard is considered one of the most efficient and reliable BJJ mouthguards. This mouthguard has a gel-padded interior for better comfort and adjustment. Having a denser rubber frame, it can better absorb impacts. It offers good breathability and comes with a case that prevents bacteria build-up. However, the Venum Challenger lacks flexibility.

Venum Challenger Mouthguard
Photo Credits: @venum

6.2. Sisu Aero Mouthguard

The Sisu Aero Mouthguard is thin, offers good protection, is a perfect fit, and has good breathability. It is 1.6 mm thick only and 50% thinner than any other mouthguard and also offers quick mouldable fitting allowing breathability and comfort. They are made of medical-grade polymer and are toxin-free.

Sisu Aero Mouthguard
Photo Credits: @sisuguard

6.3. Shock Doctor Double Mouthguard

The Shock Doctor Double Mouthguard is a perfect fit for grapplers with braces on both the upper and lower teeth. However, its large size can make it difficult to fit comfortably in your mouth.

Shock Doctor Double Mouthguard
Photo Credits: @amazon

6.4. Safejawz Extro Mouthguard

The Safejawz Extro Mouthguard is a boil-and-bite mouthguard suited for grapplers with braces fitted on the upper teeth. While it offers a good fit, it does need to be reshaped frequently. It comes in eight different designs, including a “Mo” design for mustaches.

Safejawz Extro Mouthguard
Photo Credits: @safejawz

6.5. Impact Custom Mouthguard

Impact Custom Mouthguards have the features of boil and bite and custom mouthguards, having a thickness ranging between 5-7 mm. It ensures a snug fit in your mouth and offers excellent breathability. Some categories include:

  • QuickFit (solid protection and quality)
  • CustomFit (high performance and a good fit)
  • NightGuards (rotection while you sleep)
Impact Custom Mouthguard
Photo Credits: @impactmouthguards

7. How to Handle BJJMouthguards

To retain durability and prevent contamination, follow these guidelines on how to handle your mouthguard:

  • Wash with water and mild soap.
  • Store it in a clean space.
  • Do not leave them under direct sunlight and avoid leaving them in boiling water.
  • Always check for any holes or damage before wearing.
  • Air dry after washing to ensure longevity.

8. Consequences of Not Using a BJJ Mouthguard

If you do not wear a mouthguard, you may suffer the following injuries:

  • Skeletal trauma
  • Loss of teeth
  • Lip & cheek injuries
  • Concussions
  • Fractured jaw

9. Conclusion

Considering all the points mentioned above, a mouthguard is one of the most essential oral protection devices during a BJJ fight, and one must wear it to retain oral health. Above mentioned tips and tricks must be followed to purchase a good mouthguard that not only protects your skull from your opponent’s stroke but also, provides you the comfort and breathability while guarding yourself during a fight.

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