Which Mouthguard for MMA: A Comprehensive Guide
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that requires intense physical exertion and involves a high risk of injury. One of the most important pieces of protective gear for MMA fighters is a mouthguard. Choosing the right mouthguard can make a significant difference in terms of comfort, protection, and performance. In this article, we will discuss the different types of mouthguards available for MMA fighters and the factors to consider when choosing the right one.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three main types of mouthguards available for MMA fighters:
- Stock Mouthguards: These are pre-made, inexpensive, and readily available at sports stores. They come in a few sizes and cannot be customized to fit an individual’s mouth. They offer minimal protection and may be uncomfortable to wear.
- Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: These are also available at sports stores and can be customized to fit an individual’s mouth. They are made of thermoplastic material that softens when boiled and then molded to the teeth. They offer better protection than stock mouthguards but may not fit perfectly.
- Custom Mouthguards: These are made by dental professionals and are customized to fit an individual’s mouth. They offer the best protection, comfort, and fit. They are also the most expensive option.
Factors to Consider
When choosing a mouthguard for MMA, there are several factors to consider:
The primary function of a mouthguard is to protect the teeth, gums, and jaws from impact during training and competition. A mouthguard should be thick enough to absorb shock and distribute the force evenly. Custom mouthguards offer the best protection as they are made to fit an individual’s mouth and provide maximum coverage.
A mouthguard that is uncomfortable to wear can be a distraction during training and competition. A mouthguard should fit snugly but not be too tight or too loose. It should not interfere with breathing or speaking. Custom mouthguards are the most comfortable option as they are made to fit an individual’s mouth precisely.
A mouthguard should stay in place during training and competition. A mouthguard that falls out or shifts can be dangerous and ineffective. Boil-and-bite and custom mouthguards offer better retention than stock mouthguards.
MMA fighters need to breathe heavily during training and competition. A mouthguard that restricts breathing can cause fatigue and affect performance. Boil-and-bite and custom mouthguards offer better breathability than stock mouthguards.
A mouthguard can harbor bacteria and cause infections if not cleaned properly. A mouthguard should be cleaned after each use and stored in a clean, dry place. Custom mouthguards come with a case for storage and are easier to clean than boil-and-bite and stock mouthguards.
A mouthguard should be durable enough to withstand repeated use and impact. Custom mouthguards are made of high-quality materials and can last for several years with proper care. Boil-and-bite and stock mouthguards may need to be replaced more frequently.
Choosing the right mouthguard for MMA is crucial for protection, comfort, and performance. Custom mouthguards offer the best protection and comfort but are the most expensive option. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are a good compromise between protection, comfort, and cost. Stock mouthguards are the least expensive option but offer minimal protection and may be uncomfortable to wear. Consider the factors discussed in this article when choosing a mouthguard for MMA and consult a dental professional for advice.