Ask any professional athlete if they could only bring 3 pieces of equipment to a game, and they'd probably pick a mouthguard to be part of their top 3. While other mouthguard manufacturers design their products for more general use, a good mouthguard features specific design components for the individual sport it will be used in. From lip lacerations in football to broken teeth in boxing, every mouthguard should be made according to its sports impact zones.
When it comes to sports mouthguards, there are 5 main categories to choose from: Stock, Boil-and-Bite, Lip Protector, Braces and Double mouthguards. They're not as dissimilar as one may think, but here are the key points of differentiation worth noting:
Stock Mouthguards: Stock mouth guards do not require molding of any sort. They are designed to fit your mouth directly out of the packaging. These mouth guards are typically bulky in feel and uncomfortable, however, they are a good solution when in need of a quick fix before a game.
Boil and Bite Mouthguards: Also known as "Mouth Adapted Mouthguards". These are the most popular types of mouthpieces. They are designed so the end-user can customize the fit at home by molding them to their teeth with hot water. This feature helps increase the level of protection and comfort while being affordable. What makes these models the preferred choice among amateur and professional athletes is their retail accessibility and easy molding process.
Lip Guard Mouthguards: While traditional mouth guards cover the top or bottom row of teeth only, lip guard mouth pieces also cover your top and bottom lip. Because football is a high contact sport, protecting your mouth on the inside and out is extremely important. Flying fingers and hands are very common as various players attempt to tackle or hold each other off.
Braces Mouthguard: Braces mouth guards protect the braces as well as your teeth, jaw and mouth from hard impacts. A well designed braces mouthguard will provide a channel in the front part of the guard to accomodate the braces brackets and offer extra width to cover the braces, teeth and gums. The braces guard should offer the same level of protection as a regular mouth guard and should fit comfortably without reducing your ability to breath.
Double Mouthguards: Covering both upper and lower teeth, double mouth guards are perfect for people in combat sports where the majority of impacts are made to the face. Double mouthguards can also be beneficial for athletes with upper and lower orthodontic braces. Most double mouth guards can not be boiled to fit, they usually require clenching to stay in the athletes mouth and feature a small breathing hole in the material between upper and lower teeth bitting pads.
Our experts in the impact testing lab tested to find the best mouthguards on the market. We tested with professional athletes in mind and evaluated how well each mouthguard absorbed and dispersed impacts when made to specific regions of the mouth and body. We simulated punches, jabs and uppercuts to the jaw, full body tackles as well as a different variety of harsh impacts to the head and spine. We quickly took note that the most impressive mouthguards were made of high density EVA materials and featured varying levels of material thickness throughout the guards frame.
We also checked the comfort of the material, breathability and overall experience using the mouthguard. We loved the mouthguards that fit snugly against our teeth allowing for ease of speech and breathability and that felt sturdy enough to offer proper protection.
During testing, amongst impact absorbing capacity, the details that stood out the most were how the mouthguards fit and felt in our mouth.
While bulkier ones felt more protective, they weren't comfortable and didn't allow the ability to talk and breath easily.
On the other hand, the thinner mouthguards gave us more comfort and allowed ease of speech and breathability, but didn't feel as secure in regards to impact absorbtion.
With these factors in mind, our team of athletes and product design experts developped a new high density EVA material boasting superior protection and comfort. Made to blend comfort and protection in one product, Nxtrnd has been on the forefront of professional mouthguards ever since.
Our top pick is the Nxtrnd Zero™ mouthguard. It's super thin, 1.6 mm frame is so small, you’ll honestly forget you’re even wearing a mouthguard. The Zero utilizes our signature EVA material blend that's 5 times tougher and 40% stronger than conventional mouthguards.
By combining our impact absorbant material with highly effective perforated design features, the guard successfully deflects all impact forces away from your teeth. In addition to the energy absorbing zones, the guard was created through a special layering process that allows different areas to have varying levels of thickness. By adding material in the most common impact zones only (the areas under your molars and in front of your teeth), the Zero is thinner, more comfortable and more protective than competing mouthguard models and can be used across all sports.
Below rounded up the top-tested mouthguards that we think are the most appealing for the individual sport needs — here are the ones that made the cut!
Best Overall Sport Mouthguard: Nxtrnd Zero™
Best Football Mouthguard: Nxtrnd ONE™
Best Boxing Mouthguard: Nxtrnd Rush™
Best Braces Mouthguard: Nxtrnd Braces™
Best Value Mouthguard: Nxtrnd Classic™
Best MMA Mouthguard: Nxtrnd Rush™
Most Durable Mouthguard: Nxtrnd Zero™
The ZERO Mouthguard is designed to perform in all contact sports and features our innovative shock absorbant and chew-resistant material blend added only in the important impact zones (under the molars and infront of the teeth). For optimal protection, the mouth guard demands the boil and mold method and has specific easy-to-follow fitting instructions included in every package. Once the fit is secured to your teeth, the guard allows ease of speech and breathability.
The Nxtrnd ONE Mouthguard features our innovative breathing channel and bite pads that have become very popular among football players. The guard features a special lip shield that protects your teeth, gums, and lips, from damage. In addition, this guards reinforced x-pattern bite pads are highly durable and designed to effectively disperse impact blows from hard tackles and plays.
Because boxing is a very demanding sport, fatigue sets in rather quickly and has you gasping for air sometimes frequently. The Nxtrnd Rush Mouth Guard is designed for optimal performance by allowing easy breathing and speech. Featuring a double layer construction and soft moldable interior liner, the Rush also delivers an extremely comfortable custom fit and has become a popular model amongst lightweight and heavyweight boxers. The front area of the guard features added material in order to mitigate the energy transmitted to the teeth from the possible astray flying elbow or fist.
The Nxtrnd Braces Mouthguard is a no boiling or molding guard. This mouth guard is made of medical-grade silicone and is ready-to-go out of the box. Because of it's soft flexible material, the mouth guard will adjust to the natural shifting of teeth and provide maximal comfort and protection for brace wearers. This mouthguard has been designed to accomodate the athletes braces brackets and wire by featuring a unique "U" channel around its interior layer.
One of our most versatile mouthguards. With is minimalistic look and easy boil and bite formula, the classic™ mouth guard is a multifaceted guard made to disperse the impact of all contact sports. Its thin design and sleek single layer shell will ensure ease of breathing, talking and drinking. This breathing mouth guard is easy to maintain as it demands to be simply rinsed under cold water and put it back into its storage case.
This is the same type of mouth guard professional fighters wear. This mouth guard is custom fitted with professional grade quick and easy to use Boil-and-Bite formula. We guarantee a 100% perfect fit and offer 24 hour customer service to answer any question you may have! Whether you’re a beginner getting started or a long time veteran in the ring, a solid and comfortable mouthpiece is a worthy investment! The Rush is one of the best mouthguards for MMA, Boxing, and Muay Thai because it offers the most protection possible.
The Zero Mouthguard is made in 2 different designs for anyone interested in appearances. It’s made with a High Density EVA Frame that offers better protection and greater shock absorption. The design has an exclusive breathing channel to aid airflow, and the our signature material blend that gives a comfortable, secure fit. Directions are easy to follow in order to get the best-customized fit with this mouth guard.
Although it can come across as adult sized, after the boil and bite process, it should fit most mouth types and can be trimmed to deliver an even more precise fit. The guard also comes along with a case for easy storage.
When shopping for the best sport mouthguard, it's important to make sure their actually designed for your sport. The design of a mouth guard and the materials it is made from are extremely important. Having added material in areas that don't require protection is what makes many mouth guards uncomfortable and bulky.
Here's what to consider:
Sport Specific Design: Every sport that you participate in has its own set of rules and regulations regarding the different levels of protection that are required. For example, Football players and boxers might need a higher degree of protection than a volleyball player. Before purchasing your mouthguard, you should look for the model that has it's design and features specifically related to your individual sport.
Protection and Comfort: The right mouthguard should offer both comfort and protection. You don’t want to wear something that makes you feel uncomfortable and susceptible to injury. A well fitted mouthguard should not require the clenching of teeth to hold it in, nor should it become loosely positioned in your mouth while actively engaged in your sport.
Does Not Hinder Breathing And Speech: Ideally, the guard should enable you to breath and communicate easily if your position demands calling out plays, shots and calls. The guard must fit tightly on the upper teeth without being held is place by biting and clenching. To find out if a guard is the right fit, try holding a conversation with someone and if you're prevented from doing so and have difficulties breathing, the guard should be changed.
To learn more about the different types of mouthguards available and to understand when it's important to wear one, please click here