custom fit mouth guard clear for basketball or hockey

What is the best mouth guard for basketball?

When choosing a mouth guard for basketball, there are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Custom-fit mouth guards: Custom-fit mouth guards are considered to offer the best protection and comfort. These are typically made by dental professionals and create a mouth guard tailored specifically to your mouth.
  2. Boil-and-bite mouth guards: Boil-and-bite mouth guards are a more affordable option compared to custom-fit guards. They are made from thermoplastic material that softens in boiling water, allowing you to bite into the softened material to shape it around your teeth.
  3. Stock mouth guards: Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and come ready to wear. They are the least expensive option but often provide a less precise fit, which can affect comfort and protection.

It’s essential to choose a mouth guard that fits securely and doesn’t obstruct breathing or speaking. Additionally, look for mouth guards with good shock absorption qualities to help protect against potential impacts during basketball activities.

To make the best decision, you may want to consult with a dental professional or a sports equipment specialist who can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs.

What mouth guards do NBA players use?

The preferences of NBA players regarding mouth guards can vary widely, and they may choose different brands or types based on their personal preferences and needs.

However, it’s worth noting that many professional athletes, including NBA players, often opt for custom-fit mouth guards. Custom-fit mouth guards are made by dental professionals who take impressions of the athlete’s teeth and create a mouth guard that fits their mouth precisely. These custom guards offer a high level of comfort, protection, and stability during intense physical activities.

While it’s challenging to provide a definitive answer about the exact mouth guards used by NBA players, it’s safe to assume that they prioritize the quality, fit, and protection provided by custom-fit mouth guards. Remember that the preferences of individual players may vary, and some players might choose other types of mouth guards such as boil-and-bite or stock mouth guards, depending on their personal preferences and needs.

Should I get a mouth guard for basketball?

Yes, wearing a mouthguard for basketball is generally recommended. While basketball is not considered a high-impact contact sport like football or hockey, there is still a risk of dental and facial injuries due to accidental collisions, elbows, or falls during gameplay.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider wearing a mouthguard for basketball:

  1. Protecting your teeth: Basketball involves quick movements, jumps, and physical contact that can result in accidental blows to the face. Wearing a mouthguard helps cushion and protect your teeth from impacts, reducing the risk of chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth.
  2. Preventing lip and tongue injuries: A mouthguard not only shields your teeth but also provides a barrier between your lips, tongue, and inner cheeks. This can help prevent injuries such as cuts, lacerations, and bruises to the soft tissues in your mouth in case of a collision or impact.
  3. Reducing the risk of jaw injuries: A properly fitted mouthguard can also help stabilize and cushion your jaw, reducing the risk of jaw fractures or dislocations that can occur during intense gameplay.
  4. Potential concussion prevention: While a mouthguard cannot directly prevent concussions, it may help reduce the risk of concussions indirectly. By providing some cushioning and shock absorption, a mouthguard can help absorb forces that may be transmitted through the jaw and potentially reduce the severity of an impact.

It’s important to note that mouth guards come in different types, including custom-fit, boil-and-bite, and stock mouth guards. Custom-fit mouth guards, made by dental professionals, offer the best fit, comfort, and protection. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are a more affordable alternative and can be molded to fit your teeth after softening in hot water. Stock mouth guards, although less expensive, are generally considered to provide a less precise fit and may be less comfortable.

What mouth guard does LeBron James wear?

LeBron James is known to prioritize his physical well-being and has been seen wearing a custom-fit mouthguard during games. Custom-fit mouthguards are made by dental professionals who take impressions of the athlete’s teeth and create a mouthguard tailored specifically to their mouth. These mouthguards provide a high level of comfort, protection, and stability during intense physical activities.

It’s important to note that individual athletes may choose different brands or types of mouthguards based on their personal preferences and needs. Therefore, without specific information from LeBron James or his dental team, it is challenging to provide details about the exact mouthguard he wears.

What injuries can you get from not wearing a mouth guard?

Potential Injuries during Basketball Practice and/or Play

Not wearing a mouthguard during physical activities, including basketball, can increase the risk of various injuries to the mouth, teeth, and surrounding structures. Here are some potential injuries that can occur when a mouthguard is not worn:

  1. Dental injuries: Without a mouthguard, the teeth are vulnerable to impacts, collisions, or falls during gameplay. This can result in injuries such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. In severe cases, teeth may be completely knocked out, requiring immediate dental intervention.
  2. Soft tissue injuries: Accidental blows to the face during basketball can cause injuries to the lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums. These injuries can include cuts, lacerations, bruises, and even tissue tears. A mouthguard acts as a cushion and protective barrier, reducing the risk of such injuries.
  3. Jaw injuries: During intense gameplay, impacts to the face can also lead to jaw injuries. Not wearing a mouthguard can increase the risk of jaw fractures, dislocations, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injuries. A mouthguard can help stabilize and cushion the jaw, reducing the risk of these injuries.
  4. Concussions: While not directly related to mouthguards, impacts to the jaw and face can transmit forces to the head, potentially resulting in concussions. A mouthguard may help absorb some of these forces and potentially reduce the severity of an impact, indirectly reducing the risk of concussions.

How Does a Mouth Guard Prevent These Injuries?

Sports mouth guards provide several important protective advantages that will greatly reduce the risk of serious dental injuries. Here are the most important ways they work to protect you.

A mouthguard helps prevent oral injuries by providing a protective barrier and cushioning effect during sports activities. Here’s how a mouthguard helps in preventing various types of oral injuries:

• Coverage of the Teeth – An athletic mouth guard fully covers all of the upper teeth. This coverage and splinting together lowers the risk of chipping, breaking, and avulsion. The mouth guard absorbs most of the force of impact and redistributes it evenly among all of the teeth, thus preventing serious injury to one or a few teeth in the area of impact.

• Separation of the Soft Tissues from the Teeth – By placing a barrier between the teeth and the lips, cheeks and tongue, an athletic mouth guard reduces both the likelihood and the severity of lacerations (cuts). Cuts that do occur are typically much smaller and shallower, making them less likely to bleed profusely and require stitches.

• Cushioning of the Upper and Lower Teeth – This function of an athletic mouth guard is very important for protecting the jaw joints. Many injuries cause the lower teeth to close sharply with a heavy force. By acting as a “shock absorber”, an athletic mouth guard dissipates that heavy force so that the TMJs receive less impact.

How Thick are the Mouth Guards Basketball Players Wear?

The thickness of mouthguards used by basketball players can vary depending on personal preference and the specific type of mouthguard chosen. Mouthguards typically come in different thickness options to accommodate various levels of protection and comfort.

Custom-fit mouthguards, which are considered to provide the best fit and protection, are typically made from a thin layer of resilient material that ranges in thickness from 1 to 4 millimeters. The exact thickness can vary based on the individual’s mouth anatomy and the specific requirements determined by the dental professional who creates the custom mouthguard.

Boil-and-bite mouthguards, which are more affordable and readily available, often have a thickness ranging from 1.6 to 3 millimeters. These mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens in boiling water and then molds to the teeth when bitten into.

Stock mouthguards, which are pre-formed and come in a range of sizes, are generally the thinnest option. They typically have a thickness of around 1.6 to 2.5 millimeters.

What is the material used to make a custom mouth guard?

Custom basketball mouthguards are typically made from a thermoplastic material called ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). EVA is a durable and resilient material that is commonly used in mouthguard fabrication. It offers a combination of flexibility, impact resistance, and comfort, making it suitable for sports mouthguards.

EVA is a non-toxic and latex-free material that can be easily customized to fit an individual’s teeth and mouth. The process involves taking an impression of the athlete’s teeth and then using that impression to create a mold. The EVA material is heated and vacuum-formed over the mold to create a precise fit.

The thickness of the EVA material used for custom mouthguards can vary depending on individual needs and preferences. Typically, it ranges from 1 to 4 millimeters, but the exact thickness may be adjusted by the dental professional based on the athlete’s specific requirements.

EVA is chosen for custom mouthguards due to its ability to absorb and distribute the forces of impact, protecting the teeth, gums, and jaw from potential injuries during basketball or other sports activities.

How do I order a Sentinel Mouthguards® Sports Mouth Guard?

To order a Sentinel Mouthguards® Sports Mouthguard, simply visit our official website at Click on “shop” and scroll to “athletic mouth guards”.

On our website, you’ll find a range of mouthguard options specifically designed for sports enthusiasts like you.

Browse through our selection to choose the mouthguard that suits your needs and preferences. Once you’ve made your selection, click on the desired product, and you’ll be directed to the ordering page. Follow the provided instructions to customize your mouthguard, such as selecting the type, color, and any additional features you prefer.

Once your customization is complete, proceed to the checkout and provide the necessary shipping and payment details. After the order is placed, our experienced team will ship you a dental impression kit. You will take your dental impression and using the prepaid enclosed mailer, mail your dental impression back to us.

Upon receipt of your impression, our team will fabricate your personalized mouthguard with precision and care. Soon, you’ll have your Sentinel Mouthguards Sports Mouthguard delivered right to your doorstep, ready to provide you with superior protection and comfort during your sports activities.

What is the Difference between a Store Bought Mouth Guard and a Custom Made One?

Both stock and self-adapting mouth guards are much less expensive than custom guards. They use a cheaper quality of material and do not require any professional oversight. These tend to have less retention (they are more likely to fall out of the mouth) and do not fit against the teeth closely. They also tend to be bulky and less comfortable. The thinner material may also distort over time, causing the guard to lose its shape.

Custom guards, while more expensive, provide a much longer lasting and higher level of protection than stock and self-adapting types. The intimate fit of the material against the teeth leads to a better fit with great retention. The thicker, higher quality material reduces the impact of forces to the mouth and jaws. There is no question that a custom-made athletic mouth guard provides better protection against dental injuries during contact sports than the cheaper options do.

Does a Custom Mouth Guard Last Longer than Store Bought, One Size Fits All Types?

Custom-made mouth guards are made from a higher quality of materials that are thicker than store bought types. Often, they are created with two different materials layers, which increases the longevity of the guard.

People who wear store bought guards often throw them away relatively early in their life span due to a lack of retention or a lack of comfort. The thinner material of store bought guards also makes them less capable of resisting the wear and tear of a mouth guard. Often, you can bite right through the soft, thin material.

best basketball mouthguards

How Long Does a Custom Mouth Guard Last?

The lifespan of a mouth guard depends on how often you use it and how often you subject it to heavy forces. For example, someone who plays recreational basketball once per week and suffers relatively few injuries can have an athletic mouth guard that lasts many years, even decades.

A professional NBA player may have a new mouth guard made each year because his has suffered a high level of wear and tear due to constant use and force. If you are not sure whether you should replace a custom mouth guard, ask your dentist or lab technician to inspect yours. If it shows evidence of tearing, cracking, or small teeth imprints, it may be time for a replacement.

How do I clean my mouth guard for basketball?

Cleaning a mouth guard is an essential part of its maintenance.

Taking proper care of your mouthguard for basketball is important to maintain its hygiene, functionality, and longevity. Here are some essential tips to help you care for your mouthguard:

  1. Clean it after each use: Rinse your mouthguard with cool water or use a mild antiseptic mouthwash to remove any debris, saliva, or bacteria. Avoid using hot water, as it can warp the mouthguard.
  2. Brush gently: Use a soft toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste to gently brush your mouthguard. This helps remove any built-up residue or stains. Rinse it thoroughly afterward.
  3. Store it properly: Store your mouthguard in a sturdy container with ventilation holes to allow for air circulation. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria. Avoid placing it in a closed container or a damp environment, as this can promote bacterial growth.
  4. Avoid high temperatures: Keep your mouthguard away from hot surfaces, direct sunlight, or boiling water, as excessive heat can deform or melt the material.
  5. Regularly inspect for damage: Check your mouthguard for signs of wear, tears, or thinning material. If you notice any damage, it’s important to replace it promptly to maintain proper protection.
  6. Keep it out of reach of pets: Pets may be attracted to the smell or texture of your mouthguard, so store it in a secure location away from their reach to prevent damage.
  7. Avoid chewing on the mouthguard: While it may be tempting to chew on your mouthguard, especially during breaks or timeouts, avoid doing so as it can cause premature wear and compromise its protective qualities.
  8. Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to assess the condition of your mouthguard and ensure it fits properly. They can also provide professional cleaning or adjustments if necessary.

By following these care tips, you can keep your basketball mouthguard clean, hygienic, and in good condition for longer, ensuring optimal protection for your teeth and oral tissues during sports activities.


In conclusion, selecting the best mouthguard for basketball involves considering several factors that prioritize both protection and comfort. Custom-fit mouthguards, specifically designed and molded to fit your teeth and mouth, often offer the highest level of protection, optimal fit, and enhanced durability. These mouthguards are typically made from quality materials that can withstand the rigors of basketball gameplay.

However, boil-and-bite mouthguards can also provide a suitable alternative, allowing for customization through the molding process. Whichever type you choose, ensure it meets safety standards and offers sufficient thickness to absorb impacts and protect against dental and facial injuries.

Additionally, consult with a dental professional or sports equipment specialist to ensure you select the mouthguard that best suits your individual needs. Remember, investing in a reliable and well-fitting mouthguard is a proactive step toward safeguarding your oral health and enjoying basketball with confidence.

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sentinel mouthguards author
Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards (Founded in 2012) Her long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store

Verified By

author_Dr. Lara Coseo, DDS
Dr. Lara Coseo, (DDS, FAGD)

Baylor College of Dentistry

Dr. Lara Coseo, (DDS, FAGD) is a 2004 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, Dr. Lara currently serves as an Associate Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

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