When it comes to training MMA, especially if you’re sparring, there are very few pieces of gear as important as a mouthguard.
When the time inevitably arrives and you get punched in the face, a good mouthguard will protect your mouth, teeth, and jaw from blunt force trauma.
Given the level of protection that a mouthguard can offer, it’s important for MMA fighters to find a mouthguard that is both comfortable and highly protective, whilst having minimal impact on their ability to breathe.
With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the 9 best mouthguards for MMA, break down how to choose a mouthguard, the different types you’ll come across, and answer any questions you may have.
Let’s get to it.
Our Top Picks at a Glance
- Impact Custom Professional Mouthguard – Best custom mouthguard for MMA
- Venum Predator – Best cheap option
- Impact Quick-Fit Mouthguard – Best boil and bite mouthguard for MMA
- Opro Custom Mouthguard – A great boil and bite alternative
Best MouthguardS for MMA
All right, let’s take a closer look at our top picks.
Impact Custom Professional MMA Mouthguard – Best Custom Mouthguard for MMA
When it comes to MMA mouthguards offering the most protection, you’ll struggle to find a better option than the Impact Custom Mouthguard. So, why is the Impact Custom Professional Mouthguard so good?
Firstly, this mouthguard is made specifically for your mouth/ teeth structure. Impact sends you a professional-grade impression kit, which you use to get a mold of your teeth. You then send this back to Impact (for free), who will then build a mouthguard specifically for you.
A dentist-grade, high-quality mouthguard made for you specifically. This in turn means that the mouthguard will fit perfectly! If for some reason, the mouthguard doesn’t fit as expected, they offer a 100% fit guarantee and will provide free adjustments until you’re satisfied.
Plus, the thickness of this mouthguard has been designed specifically for MMA and combat sports.
The cherry on the cake though is the breathability. Impact is the best in the business, and design their mouthguards with optimum breathability in mind. Their low-profile mouthguards provide unimpeded oxygen flow, so you won’t get gassed out after your first round of sparring.
All in all, if you’re looking for a serious, well-made mouthguard that’s highly protective, I can’t recommend Impact enough. Yes, it’s time-consuming to make and costs a pretty penny, but the end result is definitely worth it in my opinion.
- Guaranteed a perfect fit
- Easy to breathe
- Durable and long-lasting
- A ton of different color and design options
- Takes a while to get made
Venum Predator Mouthguard – Best Cheap Mouthguard for MMA
There’s no bigger name in Mixed Martial Arts than Venum, with their Predator Mouthguard being a fantastic budget-friendly option. The mouthguard itself uses a boil and bite method to mold the rubber to your teeth.
As with a lot of the best MMA mouthguards, Venum has used a multi-layered design for optimum safety, helping to dissipate the impact from any hits. For extra protection, the mouthguard is constructed using high density rubber frame, which again helps to reduce shock from any blows to the face.
Durability is somewhat of a question here though, as the rubber is known to wear away, especially if you’re biting down on your mouthguard in sparring. That said, considering the price, you can’t really ask for much more and it’s still a great option, especially if you don’t spar too often.
- Easy to mold
- Offers great protection
- Wide range of design choices
- Can wear away from teeth grinding
Impact QuickFit Mouthguard – Best Boil & Bite Mouthguard for MMA
Up next we’ve got another awesome option from Impact, this time with their boil and bite QuickFit mouthguard.
The main reason this is so much cheaper than Impact’s Professional Mouthguard is the molding procedure. The QuickFit utilizes a boil and bite method, which doesn’t require any shipping back and forth and isn’t technically a custom mouthguard.
Still, though, the QuickFit provides a nice tailored fit for your specific mouth, without the added inconvenience of shipping off a mold and waiting for your mouthguard to be made.
Simply drop the mouthguard in hot water, bite down on the mouth guard, and soak it in cold water. As easy as that, you’ve got a well fitting, protective mouthguard.
- A ton of different color and design options
- Easy to set up
- Highly protective
- Not as fully custom as Impact’s professional mouthguard
Opro Custom Mouthguard
Next up we’ve got a great option from one of the most trusted mouthguard brands in the world – Opro. Opro themselves have partnered with a number of sporting organizations, the UFC being one of them. You can actually get UFC/ Opro mouthguards online.
Anyway, the Opro mouthguard uses an enhanced boil and bite method to get the mouthguard customized to your specific mouth structure. How is this process enhanced I hear you ask?
Well, they provide their patented compression cage alongside their mouthguard which helps to create the perfect impressions of your teeth.
All of this is amazing, however, where the Opro really stands out is in the protection that it offers. They utilize a triple-layer design that massively reduces the shock from impact, in turn reducing the chance of injury.
While the fit won’t be as perfect as a full custom mouthguard like the Impact option we discussed above, it will be similar and for less than half the price!
With that in mind, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, yet high-quality mouthguard, you can’t go wrong with Opro.
- Quick and easy to mold to your teeth
- Very protective
- A ton of different design options
- Not as good as a fully custom mouthguard – but it’s close
Venum Challenger Mouthguard
If you’re looking for an easy to use, no thrills, and budget friendly mouthguard, the Venum Challenger is a great choice.
Venum utilizes a NextFit Gel Frame, which when soaked in warm/hot water, allows you to adjust and mold the mouthguard until you get the perfect fit.
As with any mouthguard, breathability is an important factor to consider. Fortunately, Venum uses a low-profile design that allows for air to easily flow in and out.
In terms of protection, the Venum Mouthguard provides everything you need. Built using high-density rubber, the mouthguard will help to reduce the impact of any unseen strikes landing on your face.
Plus, Venum provides a protective case with all of their mouthguards, allowing you to easily store the guard in your gym bag in a clean and hygienic way (still clean it regularly though).
- Simple to customize to your mouth
- Doesn’t impact your ability to breathe
- Comes with a protective carry case
- Easy to readjust should you get it wrong the first time
- Rubber can wear away from teeth-grinding
- Not a lot of design options
Fairtex MG3 Mouthguard
Good old Fairtex, one of my favorite contact sports brands in the world. I have a ton of Fairtex gear and they never disappoint…
And their MG3 Mouthguard is no exception.
The mouthguard itself is comprised of two layers; the heavy-duty rubber shock frame, and the inner gel liner. The heavy-duty shock frame does as the name suggests, reduce the shock from big impacts to the face.
The inner gel liner, when heated, will allow you to mold the mouthguard to your teeth.
All in all, a very durable and comfortable mouthguard for a very reasonable price.
- Easy to mold to your teeth
- Made from durable material – doesn’t erode away when biting down
- Comfortable in the mouth
- Provides great protection
- Limited color options
Fightr Premium Mouthguard
Fightr is a new brand that’s appeared recently and I’ve heard very good things. Their mouthguard, for example, is super easy to mold, offers fantastic protection, and is extremely affordable.
Using the boil and bite method, the Fightr Premium Mouthguard is extremely easy to set up and can be ready in minutes.
The mouthguard itself also comes with a breathable protection case, so you don’t have to worry about picking up any unwanted bits from your gym bag. Still, though, it’s worth cleaning it out after every gym session, as mouthguards can get grim pretty quickly.
To top it all off, all of Fightr’s products come with a lifelong warranty, so if you’re not happy with your mouthguard, you can get another free of charge.
- Comes with a lifelong warranty
- Easy to mold
- Comes with a breathable carry case
- Designed for maximum breathability
- Not a lot of design options
Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouthguard
What list of top MMA mouthguards would be complete without at least one appearance from Shock Doctor. They’ve built a very good name for themselves in the realm of contact sports by offering top protective gear for a very reasonable price.
The Shock Doctor mouthguard ticks all the boxes. It’s durable, highly protective, and comfortable. Plus, it comes with a $10,000 dental warranty, which should speak volumes about Shock Doctors’ belief in their mouthguards.
The craziest aspect of this mouthguard though, is that it comes in different flavors. Now, I’ll admit I’ve never used a flavored mouthguard before, but consider me intrigued!
All in all, a great option for a very good price.
- A ton of different design options
- Comes with a dental warranty
- Gel liner makes it easy to mold to your teeth
- Not made specifically for MMA
Champs MMA Mouthguard
Up next we’ve got one of the cheapest options on our list, a double layered, boil and bite mouthguard from Champs MMA.
Made using high-density EVA, this mouthguard perfectly absorbs and dissipates shock from any strikes landed on the face, keeping your pearly whites nice and safe.
As with all boil-and-bite mouthguards, simply soak the mouthguard in warm water, press it down in your mouth, soak in cool water and you’re good to go.
Plus, the mouthguard comes with a protective carry case, so you don’t need to worry about it getting beaten up and grubby on your trips to and from the gym.
- Good number of design variations
- Comes with a free protective case
- Made from good quality EVA material for maximum protection
- Boil and bite process can be messed up
How to Choose the Best MMA Mouthguard
As you can probably tell from our list, there are a ton of different mouthguards out there designed for an array of different combat sports. With that in mind, we’ll break down how to find the right MMA mouthguard for you.
Type of Mouthguard
There are a few different types of mouthguards that you’ll come across when shopping around. These are custom-fit mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and stock mouthguards. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so let’s take a closer look.
Custom Fit Mouth Guards
Custom fit mouthguards are by far the best option for MMA. As the name suggests, the mouthguard is made specifically for your teeth and jaw structure, ensuring the best possible fit.
If you’re training and sparring regularly, and looking to make a career out of MMA, then a custom mouthguard will definitely be your best bet.
So, how do these work exactly?
There are a couple of ways you can go about getting a mold for your mouthguard. Firstly, the manufacturer can send out a kit, which you then use to get the mold of your teeth. They can then use this to create your own custom mouthguard.
Alternatively, you could make a quick trip to the dentist. They should be able to make a mold for you, and likely have their own mouthguards that they use.
At the end of the day, MMA and most other combat sports can be brutal business. When it comes to safety, I prefer to not take any shortcuts and always spar with my custom fit mouthguard.
- Made specifically for your mouth – ensures the perfect fit
- Much easier to breathe wearing a custom fit mouthguard
- Stays in place when sparring – no having to adjust your mouthguard mid fight
- By far the most expensive option
- Takes some time to get the mouth guard delivered
- A bit of a pain having to get a mold made
Boil and Bite Mouth Guard
A good alternative to custom-fit mouthguards is boil and bite mouthguards. These are very similar, however, the fit of a boil and bite mouth guard won’t be quite as perfect as a custom one.
That said, they’re much more affordable and are a good deal better than using a stock mouthguard with no customization at all. Due to this, these are by far the most common type of mouthguards used for MMA training.
Admittedly, the setup process is a bit tricky, and can easily be messed up. I’d definitely recommend thoroughly reading the manufacturer’s instructions and following them step by step. When done properly, you’ll have a well-fitting, custom mouthguard for a very affordable price.
- Provides a decent fit to your specific teeth structure
- A ton of options in terms of brands and designs
- Not quite as good as custom fit mouthguard
Lastly, we have off-the-shelf, stock mouthguards with no customization at all. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend these unless perhaps you were waiting for your custom mouthguard to arrive and need a temporary one in the meantime.
They will likely come loose, not fit very well and probably hinder your ability to breathe. That said, these are by far the cheapest option, and of course, the easiest to set up.
- Don’t have to do anything to wear them (no mold taking or boiling)
- Hinder breathing
- Will slide around in your mouth
- Will offer the least amount of protection
Given that the mouthguard is all that stands between you and an unwanted trip to the dentist, an appropriate thickness is extremely important. According to the Australian Dental Association, sports mouthguards should be between 2mm-3mm thick depending on the area of the mouthguard.
Another study also found that mouthguards should be approximately 4mm thick. That said, this same study found that there is a direct correlation between thickness and wearer comfort/ acceptance.
Essentially, thicker mouthguards offer more protection but get increasingly more uncomfortable the thicker the mouthguard.
Given the nature of MMA mouthguards, they need to be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that comes with MMA training. Whether this is grinding between your teeth, getting hit in the face, or just surviving in your gym bag, getting a long-lasting, durable mouth guard will definitely save money in the long run.
Easiness to Clean
Mouthguards can get pretty gross, pretty quickly, which is why it’s important to wash them regularly and keep them clean. Plus, it’s probably not a good idea to put a grubby and dirty piece of rubber in your mouth for hours on end.
With that in mind, finding a mouthguard that’s easy to clean (and keep clean) is always a good idea. The best MMA mouthguards will usually come with a protective case that you can use to store them in. This will prevent them from picking up any unwanted crap in your gym bag.
The mouthguard itself should be made out of top-quality material that is both easy to clean and is able to withstand the process of being cleaned without getting damaged.
I had braces not once, but twice growing up (why did I not wear my night retainer?!), and getting a mouthguard was always a pain. You can get mouth guards made specifically for bracers, but given your teeth will be changing shape over time, it can be very annoying having to get a new mouth guard regularly.
I now have a permanent retainer, which is one of the reasons that I use custom mouthguards. I obviously don’t want my retainer to break, so going for a custom mouthguard is the safest bet. I would 100% recommend doing the same if you’ve got a permanent retainer.
When it comes to MMA mouthguards, the range is pretty massive. You can get some for as cheap as $25, whilst others will set you well over $100. While getting an expensive custom mouthguard will provide the best fit and protection, most of the time, a mid-range boil and bite mouthguard will do the job.
How Do Mouthguards Prevent Injury
Any full-contact sport is going to come with an inherent risk of injury, which is why finding the right protective gear is always important. In MMA for example, this could be headgear, gloves, shin guards, and most definitely a mouth guard.
So, how does wearing a mouthguard prevent injuries in MMA?
A study looking at a mouthguard’s role in preventing and reducing sports-related trauma states that there are multiple injuries that wearing a mouthguard can prevent.
Let’s take a closer look.
|Tooth dislocation/ tooth fracture||Separates the upper and lower teeth and absorbs or redistributes shock during impact|
|Bruising/ laceration of soft tissue||Separates the teeth from the soft tissue and cushioning and distributing the force of an impact|
|Mandibular fracture||Absorbs or redistributes shock and/or stabilizes the mandible during traumatic jaw closure|
|Concussions due to a direct blow to the jaw||Positions the jaw to absorb impact forces that would otherwise be transmitted through the base of the skull to the brain|
Popular Brands of MMA Mouth Guards
When it comes to protective gear, it’s always best to go with one of the leading brands with a reputation for delivering high quality. I’ll list below some top brands known to produce some of the best MMA mouthguards.
Impact mouthguards are always my go-to choice these days. They specialize in making the very best mouthguards in the sport, with the Impact Custom Professional mouthguard being a favorite amongst many top-tier fighters.
Their mouthguards tend to be pretty expensive, but if you’re sparring often and require the maximum protection possible, then Impact will be your best bet.
When it comes to big, well-known brands in the MMA space, there are very few as well known, and as respected as Venum. If you’re a fan of the UFC, you’ll recognize a lot of Venum’s gear, given that they are the official partner of the UFC, outfitting all of the fighters on fight night.
If nothing else, this should serve as an indicator of the overall quality of Venum’s gear, given that the biggest fighters, for the biggest organization in the world wear Venum when competing.
Another great brand is Fairtex. Although more known for the Muay Thai gear, they produce a ton of gear for various different combat sports, with their mouthguard being a very popular choice.
Fairtex has garnered a reputation for delivering the highest quality fight gear in the business. I use a ton of Fairtex gear, and they never disappoint. You can even check out my Fairtex MMA gloves review to see just how much I love their stuff.
Do Professional MMA Fighters wear Mouthguards?
Yes, all professional fighters wear mouthguards when competing. Similarly, 99.9% of the time, professional fighters will opt to wear a mouthguard when sparring.
Do You Need to Wear a Mouthguard to MMA Training?
This depends on whether or not you’re sparring. If you’re sparring, then you’ll need to wear a mouthguard. If it’s a regular training session where you’ll be hitting mitts, heavy bag training, etc you won’t need to wear a mouthguard.
Do I Need More Than One Mouthguard?
No, as long as you keep your mouthguard clean and in a protective case in between uses, one mouthguard will be absolutely fine.
Well, there we have it.
I hope that we’ve managed to answer any questions you may have and that you’ve been able to find the best MMA mouthguard for your needs.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Thanks for stopping by!