Best mouth guards for Muay Thai / MMA

Best muay thai mouth guard

Muay Thai is a tough combat sport, so it’s important to have the right level of protection – especially when sparring.

And few pieces of equipment are more important than the mouth guard (also known as a gum shield).

Mouth guards primarily protect your teeth from breakage, but they also protect the gums, jaw and reduce the risk of concussion.

This guide will walk you through the best types of mouth guard available, how to fit them, and how each one can be suited to your training.

 

 

Brands and recommendations

There is a huge choice of brands and models of mouth guards, so I’ve put together a list of reputable brands that I’ve either used personally or know somebody else who uses them.

**These are all boil-and-bite guards**

 

Beast Gear mouth guards

  • Available in black or white
  • Double layer thickness
  • Comes with case

 

Shock Doctor  **My top recommendation**

Shock Doctor is my recommendation when it comes to mouth guards – they are best known mouth guard brand out there and they are worn by all athletes from MMA fighters to rugby players.

They have the thickest guards around with a triple layer of protection, and I myself have one and it’s never slipped out place once.

  • Breathing channels are useful – especially when you’re tired and out of breath, it stops you blowing the guard out accidentally
  • Triple layer thickness
  • Available in lots of bright colours
  • Comes with case

 

RDX mouth guards

  • Tri-flow breathing holes stop the guard from coming loose or being blown out
  • Available in range of bright colours
  • Comes with case

 

Venum mouth guards

  • Double layer
  • Range of bright colours
  • Comes with case

 

UK Warrior mouth guards

  • Very cool designs on front such as vampire teeth
  • Breathing grooves
  • Available in range of colours
  • Comes with case

 

Opro mouth guards

  • Double layer
  • Breathing channels
  • Range of colours
  • Comes with case

 

 

Mouth guards for people with braces

If you’re currently wearing dental braces, but still hoping to spar in your Muay Thai training, there are mouth guards on the market which allow for this.

These guards are have been purpose built to accommodate for brace fixings upon teeth.

 

Opro Gold Braces

 

 

Mouth guard cases

Most of the mouth guards mentioned above come with a plastic mouth guard container to store your guard in when your not using.

These help to keep it clean and germ free – important for something that spends a lot of time in your mouth.

If your guard doesn’t come with a case, you can pick one up very cheap.

 

Guide contents

  • Why you need to wear a mouthguard
  • Types of mouth guards and how to fit
    • Stock mouth guards
    • Boil and bite mouth guards
    • Custom mouth guards
  • Caring for your mouth guard

 

Why do you need to wear a mouth guard?

Muay Thai punch

If you are sparring in any combat sport where strikes are thrown to the head, a mouth guard is a necessity, for the following reasons.

  • They protect the teeth and gums from direct strikes to the mouth
  • They stop the teeth from shattering against each other when wearer is hit to the underside of the chin (e.g. uppercuts) and also reduce the risk of jaw fractures in the same circumstances
  • Some people also argue that a properly fitted mouth guard can reduce the risk of concussion because biting down on them can stop you jaw from shaking around, though this has never been scientifically proved.

 

So, if you like having all of your teeth in one piece, please never forget to wear a mouth guard during sparring.

 

Types of Muay Thai mouth guards

Mouth guards will normally be made from a type of mouldable plastic, and will fit over your top row of teeth.

There are three types of mouth guard you can choose from.

 

Stock mouth guards


Stock guards come ready to use – and you put them straight into your mouth after buying and start using right away.

The big problem with stock guards, is that they aren’t moulded to your teeth or gums in any way, so they are very loose and don’t offer much protection.

Steer clear of stock mouth guards for Muay Thai sparring.

 

Boil and bite mouth guards **recommended for Muay Thai**

Click images for prices and availability

 

Boil and bite mouth guards are the most widely used gum shields across all combat and contact sports.

As the name suggests, these guards mould to your mouth by softening them up in boiling water, before biting down on them to set them perfectly around your teeth and gums.

Because they fit your mouth perfectly, they stay securely in place and provide an extremely high level of protection.

 

How to fit boil and bite mouth guards

Before you fit you own boil and bite guard, make sure you know the process properly.

  1. Boil some water in a sauce pan or kettle – pour into a cup if using a kettle
  2. Put your mouth guard into the water and leave for around 30 seconds (this time may differ depending on brand – check your guard’s instructions)
  3. Remove from the boiling water using a pair of tongs or pouring into a sieve
  4. Let the mouth guard cool down for 10-30 seconds
  5. Place the mouthguard into your mouth around your upper row of teeth and bite down firmly
  6. Push your tongue up into the roof of your mouth to expel air from inside the guard
  7. Press your fingers into the guard around the edges of your teeth to further expel air
  8. Remove the guard and place into some cold water for 30 seconds

If after following these steps, you feel that the guard is still not fitting tightly, simply repeat the process again.

These videos are both good demonstrations of how to fit your mouth guard properly.

 

Courtesy of Revgear

 

Courtesy of FightTips

 

I would always recommend using a boil and bite mouthguard for Muay Thai sparring – as they are easy to fit, provide a solid level of protection, and they don’t cost much either.

 

Custom mouth guards

Custom mouth guards are made by dentists to fit your mouth perfectly.

They are very expensive due to the fact you’re paying for a dentist’s time to make them for you.

Whilst you get a bit more peace-of-mind knowing that these guards have been made professionally, I personally don’t think they offer any more protection than a properly fitted boil and bite guard.

 

Every person I’ve ever known who trains Muay Thai opts for a boil and bite mouthguard – they offer great protection at very reasonable price.

 

 

Caring for your mouth guard

Keep your mouth guard hygienic by simply rinsing it under very hot water after every sparring session you wear it for.

This is enough to kill any germs that might be lurking and left to fester.

Also, keep them inside their case when they are in your gym bag – you don’t want to throw them in uncovered with your sweaty shorts and hand wraps.

 

 

Which is the best Muay Thai mouth guard for your training?

In my opinion, the boil-and-bite is the best mouth guard for sparring in Muay Thai.

All of the brands I’ve recommended here will provide a good level of protection, and won’t break the bank.

Don’t forget that when you sparring you also need to wear hand wraps, gloves and shin guards at all times – no excuses.

Happy training!

 

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