In Jiu Jitsu not everyone wears a mouthguard, but it is a good idea to have one. BJJ is a contact sport and there’s always a risk of injury. Here is a list of reasons why you should wear a mouthguard, maintenance tips, and some recommendations for some brands I have used.
The Importance Of Having A Mouthguard In Jiu Jitsu
- Jiu Jitsu is a contact sport: There are no strikes in BJJ, but it is very much a contact sport, where an accidental knee or headbutt could break your teeth.
- Mouthguard or Dental Bill: You may be in the no mouthguard camp, but your opinion might change once you injure tooth and see the dental bill. A mouthguard is a small investment to make in order to avoid the price of serious dental surgery.
- Protects Gums and Lips: By wearing a mouthguard, you are not only protecting your teeth, but also your lips,gums, and tongue. You’ll be protected from accidentally biting yourself and causing a cut or infection
- Reduces Head Trauma: A mouthguard can act as a cushion when you are accidentally struck. It can help prevent concussions, broken jaws, and spinal injuries.
It is better to be safe than sorry and a mouthguard could save you from a serious injury. I highly recommend getting a mouthguard if you’re participating in contact sports like jiu jitsu.
What To Look For In A Mouthguard For Jiu Jitsu?
There are some important qualities you need to look for in a good mouthguard. Remember these things when trying new mouthguards.
- Comfort: A good mouthguard should fit in your mouth without discomfort. It should protect all of your teeth and not hurt your gums or teeth.
- Stability: You want a guard that will stay in your mouth and not move around. If it moves around you’re at risk of a mouth injury or having your air restricted and possibly choking.
- Durability: Check if the mouthguard made of a quality material that you will get a lot of use out of.
- Sports Official: A guard that is an official mouthguard of an organized sports league/team.
- Warranty: In case of damage it is good to buy a mouthguard with a warranty on it.
When To Wear A Mouthguard?
You don’t need to wear your mouthguard throughout the whole class. Wear it during the drilling and live rolling segments of class. Take it out during the technique demonstrations and when you’re talking with your teammates/coach. You could also wear a mouthguard when doing conditioning workouts to mimic the way you breath during a competition match.
Fitting A Mouthguard
Other than a custom guard made by a dentist most over the counter guards require a boiling process.
- For an OTC guard, the process is to boil water for 3-5 minutes using a stove or microwave.
- Place the mouthguard in the boiling water for 15-30 seconds.
- Wait until it’s at a safe enough temperature to put in your mouth and hold it for a minute.
- If you need to make adjustments reboil or cut extra material until it fits comfortably.
The do it yourself fitting process is quite easy and should only take 5-10 minutes. Be sure to check the temperature, so that you don’t burn your mouth.
Looking After Your Mouthguard
Here is a list of things you can do to look after your mouthguard and get the most use out of it.
- Mouthguard Case: If your mouthguard didn’t come with a case, then buy one, so you can keep better track of it. Here’s a good one on Amazon.
- Clean It Thoroughly: Make sure you clean it with mouthwash after every use to avoid bacteria build up that will infect your mouth.
- Check It: Also give your mouthguard a once over before use to see if the material is wearing out. If the plastic is wearing it is time to replace the guard.
- Buy Extras: This isn’t necessary, but if you’re forgetful like me, then buying spares would be a good idea.
Be sure to always keep it in your case, so you don’t lose it. Also be sure to clean it after every use to avoid build up of bacteria and look to see if there’s any damage.
What Mouthguards Are The Best?
I’ve worn a number of mouthguards over the years (mainly because I keep losing them) and these are my thoughts on the ones I’ve worn.
Custom Dental Guard
This is by far the best option you have for a mouthguard. Your very own customized guard is molded to your teeth for a perfect fit by a professional. This is what I ended up doing but there is an alternative available.
It is possible to get a custom mouthguard online, such as the one here (link to Amazon). You’re sent an impression kit to create an accurate mould of your mouth which you then return. The company then create a mouthguard perfectly matched to your teeth. You can also specify the sport you participate in and they will tailor the thickness of the mouthguard to suit your needs. What’s more you can add you’re own design to the mouthguard making it a highly personalized option for protecting your teeth.
- Custom Fit: It is molded to your teeth perfectly. It will not move fall out of your mouth.
- Durability: It’s going to last a long time and you won’t need to buy another for years.
- Custom Look: You get to choose the style of your guard.
- Breathability: You’re able to breathe without any problems.
- High Grade Material: It’s dental grade material, so it’s the best material possible to make a mouthguard out of.
- Multiuse: It can be used for any type of contact sport and not just BJJ
- Warranty: You can generally buy a warranty if you break or lose your mouthguard.
- Expensive: The best option is the most expensive option. You have to pay for a good chunk of change to have the best mouthguard.
- Bad Option If Forgetful: If you tend to lose things like me, then this is not a good option for you. It’ll get even more expensive replacing a custom mouthguard you lose.
Final Thoughts: Clearly a custom-made mouthguard is the best choice. There will be no problem getting the right fit and will last a long time. The only downside is that you have to pay to have the best option.
OPRO Power-Fit Mouthguard
The OPRO Power-Fit Mouthguard is a good choice that is made of high grade material that dentists use. It is the official mouthguard for many popular sports organizations and has an 18 month $20k dental warranty if you get an oral injury wearing it.
- Dual Layer Protection: The mouthguard has a dual layer outer shell that absorbs the impact of hits, while protecting your teeth and gums.
- Fitting Fins: The design has fitting fins that are supposed to help the fitting process and help you breathe better wearing it.
- Quick Fitting Process: The fitting process takes 3 minutes or less.
- Dental Warranty: An 18 month $20k warranty in the event you get a mouth injury wearing this mouthguard.
- Multiple Designs: On Amazon there are 41 designs to choose from.
- Official Mouthguard of Sports Organizations: You will be using the official mouthguards of organizations like the UFC, England Rugby, and USA Wrestling.
- Case: The mouthguard comes with a case
- Maybe Too Expensive: It’s relatively expensive. I paid over $30 and some may not be willing to spend that much on a mouthguard.
- Issues with Fitting Fins: The fitting fins may actually be uncomfortable and hurt some people’s teeth/gums.
- Only 2 Sizes: It only comes in adult and junior size, which could be a problem trying to get the right fit.
SISU Mouth Guard
The SISU Mouth Guard Max Next Gen is one I used and while it was okay, I had issues. It comes in 4 different sizes and is designed for different sports. This mouthguard is 30% thinner than most mouthguards at only about 2.4mm thick, but it’s kind of expensive for being so small.
- 4 Designs: This mouthguard has 4 designs Aero, Max, Junior, and Go. All designed for different ages and sports.
- Diffusix Technology: It is designed to distribute impact evenly throughout the mouthguard.
- Slim: This mouthguard is slim and won’t take up much room in your mouth.
- Wide Bite Pad: This mouthguard gives sufficient space for your teeth
- Small and Expensive: For the price they’re asking it is kind of small.
- Basic Design: It’s a very basic design and there’s not much to this mouthguard.
- Looks Cheap: It looks like a lower priced mouthguard, while being rather expensive.
- No Warranty: There’s no warranty if you get injured while wearing this mouthguard.
Venum Predator Mouthguard
Venum is known for putting out quality combat sports equipment, but the Venum Predator Mouthguard is one of their lesser products. It’s their usual snake fang design made of a gel frame claiming to offer dual layer protection.
Gel Frame: It is made of a Nextfit gel frame that is supposed to be easily adjustable.
Protective Case: It includes a Venom protective case.
Color Option: It has different color options for you to choose.
Not Comfortable: It doesn’t feel comfortable in your mouth.
Feels Cheap: It doesn’t look like a high quality mouthguard.
Hurts Mouth: My mouth hurt after using it during training.
Not Durable: They do not last long and fall apart easily.
Expensive: For being low quality it is expensive
Which is the best mouthguard for Jiu Jitsu?
Here is my ranking of the best options of these mouthguards.
- Custom Dental Guard
- OBPRO Power-Fit Mouthguard
- SISU Mouthguard
- Venum Predator Mouthguard
The best option for a mouthguard will always be a custom mouthguard made by a dentist or orthodontist. It is made of the best material and going to last a long time. If you don’t want to pay a lot, then the next best option is the OBPRO Power-Fit Mouthguard that is a quality product with a dental warranty. The other two aren’t really worth your money and I’d recommend the first two options or a cheaper alternative like a Shock Doctor mouthguard.
I hope this review was helpful and it helps you in purchasing a mouthguard. It will keep your teeth safe and protect you from injury while training.