what is the best mouth guard for MMA

Reviewed and updated for accuracy on 06/13/23

Step into the octagon, where the clash of warriors reverberates and the thrill of combat electrifies the air. In the heart-pounding world of MMA, fighters push their bodies and skills to the limit, but amidst the frenzy, one often-overlooked piece of gear stands as a silent guardian of their oral safety: the mouth guard.

This unassuming piece of protective equipment plays a crucial role in shielding fighters from the brutal consequences of strikes and blows. From shattered teeth to split lips, the dangers lurking in the ring are all too real. Join us as we unravel the mystery behind the best mouth guard for MMA, an essential accessory that defends smiles, safeguards jaws, and keeps fighters standing tall in the face of adversity.

What is the best mouth guard for MMA?

When it comes to choosing the best mouth guard for MMA, many fighters prefer custom-made mouth guards over over-the-counter (OTC) options. Custom-made mouth guards offer several advantages that make them the top choice for MMA fighters.

These mouth guards are individually crafted to fit your unique dental structure, providing a superior level of comfort and protection. Custom mouth guards are typically made by dental professionals who take impressions of your teeth and create a mouth guard tailored specifically to your mouth.

This personalized fit ensures maximum coverage and better shock absorption, reducing the risk of dental injuries during intense MMA fights. Additionally, custom mouth guards offer excellent breathability, allowing for clear communication and improved performance in the ring. While OTC mouth guards can provide some level of protection, the precision and customization offered by custom-made mouth guards make them the preferred option for serious MMA athletes seeking optimal comfort and safeguarding of their oral health.

Are there any affordable options for high-quality custom MMA mouth guards?

Yes! At Sentinel Mouthguards, we understand the importance of affordability without compromising on the quality and protection of your MMA mouth guard. We offer a range of mouth guard options that cater to your budget, ensuring that high-quality protection is accessible to all athletes.

Our selection includes custom-fit mouth guards that are tailored to your specific dental structure and needs. While custom mouth guards typically offer the highest level of comfort and protection, we also offer thickness options so that you can choose your desired level of protection. All Sentinel Mouthguards are custom-fit and utilize a streamlined process to make them more affordable while maintaining the quality and performance you expect from our team.

We believe that every athlete deserves a reliable and well-fitting mouth guard, regardless of budget constraints. Our commitment to providing affordable options ensures that you can protect your teeth and enjoy the benefits of a custom-fit MMA mouth guard without breaking the bank.

Please visit our website or contact our customer service team for more information on our range of mouth guards and pricing options. We are here to help you find an affordable, high-quality solution that meets your specific needs as an MMA athlete.

Are boil-and-bite mouth guards good for MMA?

Boil-and-bite mouth guards can be suitable for MMA, but their effectiveness may vary depending on individual preferences and needs. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are a popular option among athletes because they allow for a degree of customization at home. The process involves boiling the mouth guard to soften it and then biting into it to mold it to the shape of your teeth.

For MMA fighters, boil-and-bite mouth guards can provide a reasonably secure fit and offer some level of protection against dental injuries. They are often more affordable compared to custom-made mouth guards and readily available in sporting goods stores. However, it’s important to note that the level of protection offered by boil-and-bite mouth guards may not be as precise or tailored as with custom-made options.

Custom-made mouth guards, created by dental professionals, provide a higher degree of customization and can offer a superior fit and protection. They are designed specifically for your teeth and mouth structure, which can be advantageous in the high-impact nature of MMA.

Ultimately, the choice between a boil-and-bite mouth guard and a custom-made mouth guard depends on factors such as budget, personal preference, and the level of protection desired. If affordability is a concern or if a customized option is not readily accessible, a boil-and-bite mouth guard can still offer a reasonable level of protection for MMA fighters. However, for those seeking the highest level of comfort, fit, and protection, custom-made mouth guards are generally considered the ideal choice.

What are the top-rated mouth guards for professional MMA fighters?

Professional MMA fighters often prioritize high-quality mouth guards that offer maximum protection and performance. Custom-made mouth guards, created by dental professionals based on an individual’s dental impressions, are often preferred due to their precise fit and tailored protection. These mouth guards provide optimal comfort, breathability, and impact absorption.

Some professional fighters may also opt for specialized mouth guards designed specifically for combat sports. These mouth guards may incorporate advanced features such as additional shock absorption layers or technologies to enhance breathability and communication.

It’s important for professional MMA fighters to consult with their coaches, trainers, or even experienced dental professionals to find the right mouth guard for their specific needs. These individuals can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their expertise and knowledge of the latest advancements in mouth guard technology.

There are three main mouth guard types used during sports activities

Stock Mouth Guards


Stock mouth guards – These are over-the-counter mouth pieces and have higher chances of failing to fit. Just as the name suggests, they are stocked in the store and are the mass produced types.

Stock mouth guards are typically made with a lesser quality material that is easier to chew through or wear out.

The three most common complaints from those using these types of guards are:

  1. Inability to adapt or loose fit
  2. Wear down time – not durable or long lasting enough
  3. Bulkiness – the inability to breath, communicate & perform on a higher level.

Have you ever seen someone take a hit or fall and their mouth guard goes flying out of their mouth? This happens because the mouth guard is not properly formed to their teeth. This stock mouth guard type is simply the lowest quality and most inexpensive option.

Heat and form / boil and bite

(pictured) Boil & Bite Mouth Guard

These types of mouth guards assume the shape of your mouth when you boil and form them. They are therefore better fitting alternatives and are available in various sizes, prices and options.

Though they may fit a bit better, the plastic quality is still much lower than dentist grade material. Still, if you’re on a tight budget or in a pinch, this is an acceptable option.

Custom made mouth guards


A custom mouth guard offers the best fit, hence the best protection. It is designed from a model of your teeth – allowing you to comfortably breathe, eat and drink. Custom mouth guards are readily available online at affordable, discounted prices.

There are other types of high profile and low profile mouth guards, but they all fall under these three categories discussed above.

Low profile lip mouth guards – These are dual-layer design guards that protect the lower and upper lips, and feature centered airflow channels, a customized gel-fit bite surface, and high impact protection.

What are the differences between single and double mouth guards in MMA?

In MMA, single and double mouth guards refer to different styles of mouth guards that offer varying levels of protection and coverage. Here are the differences between single and double mouth guards:

  1. Single Mouth Guards:
    • Coverage: Single mouth guards are designed to cover only the upper teeth.
    • Protection: They provide protection to the upper teeth, gums, and jaw.
    • Fit: Single mouth guards are typically smaller in size and offer a more streamlined fit.
    • Breathability: They generally allow for better breathability and airflow, making it easier to breathe during intense physical activity.
    • Communication: Single mouth guards may allow for clearer communication, as they do not cover the lower teeth.
  2. Double Mouth Guards:
    • Coverage: Double mouth guards cover both the upper and lower teeth, providing more comprehensive protection.
    • Protection: They offer additional coverage and impact absorption for the lower teeth, gums, and jaw.
    • Fit: Double mouth guards tend to be larger in size and may take some time to get used to due to the increased material in the mouth.
    • Breathability: Compared to single mouth guards, double mouth guards may impede breathability to some extent, as they cover both the upper and lower teeth.
    • Communication: Double mouth guards can slightly hinder clear communication due to the increased coverage.

The choice between single and double mouth guards in MMA depends on individual preferences, level of comfort, and desired level of protection. Some fighters may prefer the simplicity, breathability, and freedom of movement offered by single mouth guards, while others may opt for the increased coverage and protection provided by double mouth guards. It is important to consider personal comfort, the nature of the MMA training or competition, and any specific regulations when deciding which type of mouth guard to use.

Yes, there are generally specific requirements for mouth guards in MMA competitions. While these requirements may vary depending on the governing body or promotion organizing the event, here are some common guidelines for mouth guards in MMA:

Are there any specific requirements for mouth guards in MMA competitions?

  1. Mandatory Usage: In most MMA competitions, the use of a mouth guard is mandatory for all participants. This is to ensure the protection of fighters’ teeth, gums, and jaw during the intense physical activity and potential strikes involved in MMA bouts.
  2. Custom-Fit or OTC: Competitors may be allowed to use either custom-fit mouth guards, which are individually crafted by dental professionals based on the fighter’s dental impressions, or over-the-counter (OTC) mouth guards available for purchase from sporting goods stores. However, custom-fit mouth guards are often recommended for a more precise fit and optimal protection.
  3. Full Coverage: Mouth guards used in MMA competitions typically need to provide full coverage of the upper teeth, gums, and jaw. This ensures that the impact forces are evenly distributed and absorbed, reducing the risk of dental injuries.
  4. Non-Obstructive: The mouth guard should not interfere with a fighter’s ability to breathe or communicate effectively during the bout. While some reduction in breathability and slight hindrance in communication may occur, the mouth guard should not significantly impede these functions.
  5. Safety Certification: Some competitions may require mouth guards to meet certain safety standards or have specific certifications. These standards ensure that the mouth guard has been tested and approved for its protective qualities.

It’s important for MMA fighters to review the specific regulations and requirements set by the governing body or promotion they are competing under. These guidelines will outline any additional specifications or considerations for mouth guards, ensuring compliance and the safety of all participants in the competition.

Can I use a regular sports mouth guard for MMA?

Using a regular (OTC) sports mouth guard for MMA is generally not recommended. While regular sports mouth guards can provide some level of protection, they may not be specifically designed to meet the demands and unique challenges of MMA.

MMA involves high-impact strikes, grappling, and potential blows to the head and face. The level of force and intensity in MMA bouts requires a mouth guard that offers enhanced protection and durability. Regular sports mouth guards may not have the necessary features to adequately absorb and distribute the impact forces associated with MMA.

Mouth guards designed specifically for MMA often offer additional features such as increased thickness, improved shock absorption, and coverage of all the upper teeth and gum area. These specialized mouth guards are tailored to the unique needs of MMA fighters and can provide better protection against dental injuries, jaw fractures, and other potential risks.

While it is not mandatory to use a mouth guard specifically labeled for MMA, it is highly recommended to invest in a custom mouth guard designed for combat sports or consult with dental professionals who specialize in sports dentistry. They can help you select a mouth guard that offers the best balance of comfort, fit, and protection for your MMA training and competitions. Prioritizing your safety and well-being is crucial in a physically demanding sport like MMA.

Are there any mouth guards designed specifically for grappling in MMA?

Yes, there are mouth guards specifically designed for grappling in MMA. Grappling-focused mouth guards are designed to address the unique challenges and requirements of ground fighting, submission holds, and intense clinching situations in MMA.

These mouth guards typically offer certain features that enhance performance and protection during grappling:

  1. Secure Fit: Grappling mouth guards often have a more secure fit, designed to stay in place even during intense movements and grappling exchanges. This helps prevent the mouth guard from being dislodged or shifting out of position.
  2. Extended Coverage: Some grappling mouth guards provide extended coverage to protect the lower teeth, gums, and jaw, as these areas can be more vulnerable during ground fighting and clinches.
  3. Impact Absorption: Grappling mouth guards may have enhanced shock absorption properties to better withstand strikes and impact during close-quarters combat.
  4. Low Profile: These mouth guards are often designed to have a low profile, minimizing interference with breathing, speaking, and maintaining a natural bite position while grappling.
  5. Enhanced Comfort: Grappling mouth guards may feature improved comfort elements such as softer materials, ergonomic designs, and customizable options to ensure a comfortable fit during prolonged grappling sessions.

When selecting a grappling mouth guard for MMA, it is essential to consider your specific needs, preferences, and the regulations of the organization or promotion you are competing in. Consulting with dental professionals or experienced MMA fighters can provide valuable insights and recommendations to help you find a suitable mouth guard designed specifically for grappling in MMA.

Can Sentinel Mouthguards make a low profile grappling mouth guard for me?

Yes, Sentinel Mouthguards can create a custom low profile grappling mouth guard tailored specifically for your needs. We specialize in crafting custom mouth guards that offer maximum protection and comfort during intense grappling sessions in MMA.

Our skilled dental professionals will work closely with you to ensure a precise fit and customize the mouth guard to your exact specifications. We understand the importance of a secure fit and extended coverage in grappling situations, and our low profile design allows for optimal breathability and freedom of movement.

With our expertise and dedication to quality, we are committed to providing you with a high-quality custom mouth guard that meets your requirements and enhances your performance on the mat. Contact us to get started on creating your personalized grappling mouth guard today!

How do I clean and maintain my MMA mouth guard?

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your MMA mouth guard are essential to ensure its longevity, hygiene, and effectiveness. Here are some steps to clean and maintain your mouth guard:

  1. Rinse After Use: Rinse your mouth guard with cool water immediately after each use. This helps remove saliva, sweat, and any debris that may have accumulated during training or competition.
  2. Brush Gently: Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to brush your mouth guard. Gently scrub all surfaces, including the inside and outside, to remove any bacteria or residue. Rinse it thoroughly afterward.
  3. Use Antimicrobial Solutions: Consider using an antimicrobial mouth guard cleaner or a mild antiseptic mouthwash to further sanitize your mouth guard. Follow the instructions provided with the product and rinse it well afterward.
  4. Store Properly: Always store your mouth guard in a clean, ventilated case specifically designed for mouth guards. Avoid leaving it exposed to excessive heat or direct sunlight, as this can deform or damage the mouth guard.
  5. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Do not use harsh chemicals, bleach, or alcohol-based solutions to clean your mouth guard. These substances can deteriorate the materials and compromise its quality.
  6. Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your mouth guard for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, tears, or loose fittings. If you notice any damage, it’s important to replace your mouth guard promptly to maintain its protective qualities.
  7. Replace When Necessary: Over time, mouth guards can wear out and lose their effectiveness. Replace your mouth guard as recommended by the manufacturer or if it shows signs of significant wear or damage.

Remember to consult the specific care instructions provided with your mouth guard, as different brands and materials may have slightly different cleaning and maintenance recommendations. By following these general guidelines, you can keep your MMA mouth guard clean, hygienic, and in optimal condition for your training and fights.


The Dental Impression Kit Provided

Dental Impression Kit

The dental impression kit, or teeth casting kit, comes with easy instructions to ensure that you have everything you need to take a perfect dental impression.

On the website, the drop down menu allows you to specify the thickness of the mouth guard you need based on the level of MMA you are involved in.

This gives customers enough freedom to decide the type of mouth guards they prefer based on various factors.

For no-contact or very little contact you may want to choose the thin option.

For full contact you will want to the thickest guard.


In conclusion, selecting the best mouth guard for MMA is a crucial decision for any fighter prioritizing their safety and performance. While there are various options available, the key factors to consider include comfort, protection, fit, and individual preferences.

Custom-made mouth guards, created by dental professionals, offer the highest level of customization and are often favored by MMA athletes. These mouth guards provide a precise fit, exceptional protection, and tailored features that cater specifically to the demands of MMA.

However, if custom-made mouth guards are not readily accessible or fall outside your budget, there are still reputable over-the-counter (OTC) options available. Look for OTC mouth guards designed for high-impact sports that provide adequate protection and a secure fit. Remember to prioritize a mouth guard that covers your upper teeth, gums, and jaw, and opt for reputable brands known for their quality and durability.

Ultimately, the best mouth guard for MMA is one that fits well, offers sufficient protection, and allows you to breathe and communicate effectively during training and competitions. Consult with dental professionals, experienced fighters, and reputable manufacturers to make an informed decision that suits your needs and ensures your oral health and overall performance remain at their best. Prioritizing the well-being of your teeth and jaws will undoubtedly contribute to a successful and safe MMA journey.

Need more reasons to choose Sentinel?

Email us at info@sentinelmouthguards.com or visit our website and we’ll help you find the right mouth guard for your MMA needs via Live Chat.

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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 http://sentinelmouthguards.com

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