What Mouthguards Do MMA Fighters Wear?

Mouthguards are an essential piece of protective equipment for anyone participating in contact sports, including Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). They protect against a myriad of dental and oral injuries, from fractured teeth to bitten tongues. But not all mouthguards are created equal. MMA fighters, given the intense nature of their sport, need the very best. Let’s delve deeper into the world of MMA mouthguards.

1. Why are Mouthguards Crucial in MMA?

MMA combines multiple fighting techniques such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, wrestling, and Muay Thai. With strikes, takedowns, and grappling, there’s always a risk of a blow to the face.

Mouthguards help in:

  • Protection from Direct Blows: They disperse the shock across a wider area, reducing the chance of injury.
  • Protection from Grinding: During high-stress situations, fighters may grind their teeth, and a mouthguard can provide a cushion.
  • Prevention of Soft Tissue Injury: A direct blow without a mouthguard can cause a fighter to bite their tongue or cheek.
  • Jaw Protection: They can help prevent jaw fractures by acting as a cushion against upper and lower jaw slamming together.

2. Types of Mouthguards

There are primarily three types:

  • Stock Mouthguards: Pre-made and ready to wear. They’re the least expensive but also the least protective and comfortable.
  • Boil and Bite Mouthguards: Made from thermoplastic material. They’re immersed in hot water and then formed to the teeth using finger, tongue, and biting pressure.
  • Custom-fitted Mouthguards: Designed specifically for an individual’s mouth. They provide the best fit, comfort, and protection.

3. What Do MMA Fighters Prefer?

Most professional MMA fighters opt for custom-fitted mouthguards. The reasons are:

  • Optimal Fit: They are crafted from an exact mold of the fighter’s teeth, ensuring that the guard stays in place during fights.
  • Maximum Protection: With a snug fit, they provide superior protection against blows.
  • Improved Breathability: A better fit means fighters can breathe more easily during intense moments.
  • Personalization: Fighters can choose colors, designs, and even put their name or logo on them.

4. Popular Brands Among Fighters

Several brands have earned a reputation in the MMA community. Some of the most popular include:

  • Opro: They offer self-fit and custom guards and are recognized by many combat and other sports organizations.
  • GuardLab: Known for their 3D scanning technology, they provide highly accurate custom-fitted guards.
  • SISU: Their guards are thinner, which some fighters find more comfortable, yet they still offer robust protection.

5. Taking Care of Mouthguards

For a mouthguard to remain effective, fighters must:

  • Clean After Every Use: Using a toothbrush and toothpaste or mouthwash.
  • Store in a Ventilated Case: This helps to dry it out and prevents bacteria buildup.
  • Avoid Exposure to High Temperatures: To prevent warping.
  • Regularly Inspect for Wear: If there are holes or tears, it’s time for a replacement.


For an MMA fighter, a mouthguard is not just about protecting the teeth—it’s about ensuring that they can continue to train and fight without the setback of oral injuries. With the blows exchanged in the octagon, it’s no surprise that professionals invest in the best mouth protection available. Like any equipment, it requires care and periodic replacement to ensure optimal performance. Whether amateur or pro, every fighter should prioritize a good-quality mouthguard—it’s a small investment for invaluable protection.

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