Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a contact sport, and like most contact sports, there is huge importance around the protective equipment that you wear.
While direct strikes are not overly prominent in BJJ, there are still accidents, especially when tussles get more intense.
Therefore, it is important to protect the areas of your body that are more susceptible to injury.
One of the most important pieces of protective equipment you should wear in BJJ (besides a shell), is a mouthguard.
While they may not be the most comfortable thing to wear, they should be part of your everyday training kit.
Why Use Mouthguards In BJJ?
When taking part in a grappling martial art, most of your body falls into the vulnerable category.
While there is a risk of injury to any body part within martial arts, there are certain areas that become much more susceptible to sustaining a significant injury.
These areas include the groin, and the teeth and gums.
If you take a direct hit to your teeth or gums there are many injuries that can result.
For example, if your tooth takes the brunt of the force, the trauma can cause your tooth to die.
This is the result of either nerve damage or ruptured blood vessel which results in poor blood flow to the tooth.
Equally, your teeth, if unprotected by a mouthguard, can cause damage to your mouth during a grapple.
If you bite down on your tongue, cheeks, or lips, it can cause heavy bleeding, infections, ulcers, and swelling.
The use of mouthguards in BJJ provides protection against all of these injuries.
You can invest in either a mouthguard that covers only your upper teeth and gums or a mouthguard that covers upper and lower teeth, depending on personal preference.
The Three Types Of Mouthguard
There are three common types of mouthguards that you will come across in your search.
Mouthguards range in price, comfort, and protection offered based on the style.
These mouthguards are readily available in most sports equipment stores and some drug stores.
They come in three sizes, small, medium, and large.
They will provide protection during a grapple but are likely to not fit as securely as they should due to being stock sizes rather than molded to your teeth.
This option might be good if you are just starting out in BJJ and are unsure how you will find it.
Boil And Bite Mouthguards
These mouthguards are in a similar price range to the stock mouthguards and are also available in most sports equipment stores and some drug stores.
Boil and bite mouthguards are only available in one size, but form to your teeth and gums through the shaping process.
Because of the shaping process with these mouthguards, they offer much more protection than a stock mouthguard does.
The forming process is simple and easy to follow and can be done multiple times which is good for people who are using teeth aligning treatments.
These are the most expensive type of mouthguard but ultimately offer the most protection for your teeth and gums.
Custom-made mouthguards are not available in sports stores, they must be purchased through a dentist or orthodontist.
Your dentist will take a mold of your mouth, much like they do when fitting braces or retainers, and will make a mouthguard that is perfectly molded to your mouth.
This type of mouthguard will also be the most comfortable to wear.
What To Look For In A Mouthguard
There are a few important aspects to consider when choosing a mouthguard for any sport.
The material should be comfortable enough to not irritate your gums or cause issues with dentistry such as braces.
The mouthguard shouldn’t be too big for your mouth, it shouldn’t extend too far back or cover too much of your soft palate, if it does it may cause you to gag when wearing it.
Similarly, wearing a mouthguard shouldn’t interfere with your breathing or speech.
To find out whether you can speak and breathe properly with your mouthguard, you should jog for a few minutes with it in place to check your breathing and hold a conversation with somebody to see if they can understand what you are saying.
These are both important to ensure that you are able to participate in the sport safely and communicate effectively.
Your mouthguard should also cover all of your front teeth and gums, without infringing on your maxillary labial frenum, or extending too far back.
If the mouthguard does not adequately cover your teeth and gums, it may be an incorrect size if it is a stock mouthguard or may need remolding if it is a boil and bite mouthguard.
Remember that you should use your lips and tongue to mold the mouthguard as well as your teeth.
The Best BJJ Mouthguards
We have compiled a list of the best BJJ mouthguards on the market to make it easier for you to make a selection that will best fit your needs.
The list primarily consists of the boil and bite mouthguards as custom-made guards are only available from dentists and other dental practitioners, and stock mouthguards don’t provide as much protection or comfort.
We have also included a handy buyer’s guide to help you in your search for the best protection for your teeth.
OUR TOP PICK
The Redline Sportswear is a one-size-fits-all boil and bite mouthguard.
The biggest standout feature of this mouthguard is its dual-layer design with gel lining which provides ample comfort and protection for its user.
The gel lining of this mouthguard means that it is going to be more comfortable for users with braces as it will shape around the braces each time.
One of the most important features of any mouthguard is that it is made with safe materials.
The Redline Sportswear mouthguard is made with BPA-free plastic, making it safe for long-term use.
The Redline Sportswear mouthguard comes with a carry case for your guard and a carabiner clip to easily attach to your sports bag or inside a locker.
You’ll never have to worry about forgetting your mouthguard again.
You can even personalize or label the case to ensure that your mouthguard doesn’t get mixed up with your class members.
This mouthguard is available with multiple colors of gel lining, with a sleek, professional black outer layer.
- Gel inner lining for added comfort
- Boil and bite design
- Handy carry case and carabiner clip
- Can extend back too far, although it is able to be trimmed
The Oral Mart mouthguard is the winner in this list in terms of variety of design.
Rather than keeping the color of their mouthguards on the inner layer, Oral Mart wants to bring the party to contact sports.
While wearing mouthguards may not be anyone's favorite thing, playing around with the different designs can take away from the inconvenience of mouthguards.
Much like the Redline mouthguard, Oral Mart makes their mouthguards with BPA-free, food grade materials that are safe for long-term oral use.
They have even tested their design prints to ensure that they will not rub off over time with general use, or come off during the forming process.
Oral Mart specifies that this mouthguard should not be used with braces or retainers.
If you have braces, the best option is to have your dentist make a custom mouthguard for you.
- BPA-free, food grade materials
- Huge range of designs
- Easy to understand shaping instructions
- Thoroughly tested to guarantee durability
- Not suitable for braces users
The Damage Control high-impact mouthguard comes in a close second in the competition of the best design range.
From plain block colors to x-rays to kittens, there is seemingly nothing that Damage Control won’t put on their mouthguards.
Again, this is a great feature of a mouthguard if you want to have a bit more fun with a necessary evil.
However, the Damage Control mouthguard is more than just a pretty face.
Made with Damprotech, it offers 150% more shock absorption from hard blows than ordinary mouthguards.
While hard blows aren’t common in BJJ they are possible by accident and it’s nice to be prepared.
Another boil and bite entry on the list, the Damage Control mouthguard fits closely to your teeth and gums and should be able to stay in place without pressure from your lower teeth or your tongue.
If it doesn’t stay in place by itself, you may need to reshape it.
Damage Control is also a trusted brand within the world of contact sports protective wear.
This can give you added peace of mind when making your purchase.
- Wide range of designs
- Damprotech offers increased shock absorption
- Trusted brand name
- Boil and bite design
- Single-layer design may feel less protective than double-layer options
The Nxtrnd Rush mouthguard is one of the most professional-looking, high-quality mouthguards on our list.
This mouthguard really has been made with athletes in mind.
Featuring a dual-layer like others on this list, the Nxtrnd Rush provides ample protection from face blows.
Made with a dense polymer core, this mouthguard can disperse the energy from even the hardest of hits, perfect for contact sports such as BJJ.
The most interesting feature of this mouthguard is the undercarriage channel system.
The Nxtrnd Rush has been designed to maintain space between your upper and lower teeth to facilitate and increase airflow while wearing.
This is a great feature for active sports such as BJJ.
- Innovative airflow design
- High level of durability
- Dense polymer core to disperse energy
- Protective dual-layer design
- Unlimited defective warranty
- It may be too small for larger mouths
One of the most impressive features of the Champs Breathable mouthguard is that it is suitable to be used with braces as stated by the manufacturer.
The soft, next-gen gel lining of the mouthguard comfortably molds around braces and can be remolded whenever needed.
As the name suggests, however, the main selling point of this mouthguard is its breathability.
The guard is designed to create three, wide spaces between the mouthguard and your lower teeth to improve airflow.
This increases the potential oxygen intake of the user and allows for maximum performance.
Designed specifically for combat sports such as BJJ and other martial arts, this mouthguard offers high-impact protection.
Featuring a protective EVA outer frame that is designed to send shocks away from your teeth and gums to tissue that is more equipped to deal with it.
The Champs Breathable mouthguard also comes with a matching carry case to keep your mouthguard clean and protected as you travel between home and your dojo.
- Soft, next-gen gel lining for comfort
- Central air holes allow for increased airflow
- Protective, high-impact EVA outer layer
- Suitable for braces users
- It may extend too far back and require trimming when molding
Best BJJ Mouthguard Buyer’s guide
As you have seen from the variety of mouthguards in our list above, there are many different aspects of mouthguards, despite their basic shape.
It is important to consider what you want from a mouthguard, and what a mouthguard is designed for when purchasing one.
Below, we will look at the most common specifications you should consider when looking for a mouthguard.
One of the most important things that we consider when making any purchase is whether something is good value for money.
It is important to look at what you are getting for your dollar, with mouthguards this mainly comes from their durability.
You don’t want to spend money on a mouthguard, only to find out that it will only last for six months.
The easiest way to discover how durable a product is without purchasing it is to look at the customer reviews available.
Durability is something that people will be keen to comment on in a review because it’s so important.
Try to look for reviews that disclose how often they train and at which rank or intensity to clarify whether the mouthguard could still work for you.
For example, if you are new to the sport, your mouthguard may take less impact due to simpler grappling techniques than a serious competitor would.
Type Of Mouthguard
The type of mouthguard is one of the most important steps in purchasing the correct mouthguard for your sport.
It is safe to say that stock mouthguards are not going to offer adequate protection and comfort for combat sports such as BJJ and should be avoided as much as possible.
Luckily they are not significantly cheaper than quality boil and bite mouthguards.
Boil and bite mouthguards are the most readily available and easy-to-use mouthguards.
With easy instructions to follow, your new mouthguard can be ready to use within an hour of receiving it.
These mouthguards can often be remolded multiple times, so no pressure to get it right the first time.
Due to the one-size-fits-all nature of these mouthguards, they can sometimes extend too far back in the mouth which can be uncomfortable, they can be trimmed with scissors during the molding process if necessary.
The best option for mouthguards is custom-made by a dentist.
This is obviously the most expensive option, however, if you are planning to compete often or progress to a high rank in BJJ it is worth investing in the mouthguard that is going to be most comfortable and offer the highest level of protection.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are two main designs of mouthguards.
The most common type is upper teeth or gum protection mouthguards.
All of the mouthguards in this list have been the upper teeth design.
This design is most common in BJJ due to the increased ability to breathe offered by them.
The other design option is dual or double teeth protection mouthguards.
These mouthguards cover both your upper and lower teeth for extra protection.
The main issue with these is their limited ability to allow for mouth breathing when you are exhausted.
There is not much need for this type of mouthguard in BJJ as you should not be taking direct face hits that often.
As with any purchase, a warranty is desirable.
Not only does it provide a safety net in the event of a defect of any kind, but it also shows a company’s faith in its own product.
Mouthguards that come with long or unlimited defect warranties are going to be preferential over products with minimal or no warranty.
As a mouthguard is something that you will place in your mouth for extended periods of time, it is important to make sure that it has been made with approved, safe materials.
The minimum that you should look for in a mouthguard is BPA-free plastic.
A better option if it is available is always FDA-approved, food-safe materials.
Purchasing a mouthguard can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time.
However, once you know what options are available and what type will work best for you it is easier.
Finding a mouthguard that is protective and comfortable is as rewarding as it is necessary for combat sports.