Jiu Jitsu translates to “the gentle art,” and in comparison to some things it really is gentle. It’s gentler than bull-riding, MMA, and plane crashes. However, despite being gentler than some things, it still is a combat sport which comes with many of the risks associated with contact sports.
If you like your smile, or dislike spending money at the dentist, wearing a mouthguard while training is a no-brainer. Keep reading to see why you should wear a mouth protector and see which ones we recommend to keep your teeth looking pretty!
The benefits of wearing a mouthguard
If you practice BJJ long enough, you’ll eventually take an elbow or knee to the face. It not intentional, but regardless of intent it still hurts! If this poorly placed boney cudgel lands on your teeth or jaw this pain might be coupled with an expensive dental bill.
Impact from below can cause your lower teeth to crash into the upper causing chipped or cracked teeth. Direct impact can cause the same damage or may even completely dislodge a tooth!
Modern dentistry is pretty amazing at this point, so none of this damage is irreparable… but it will come at a significant cost. Getting a cracked tooth repaired can cost up to $500 while replacing a tooth which has been knocked out can cost thousands of dollars.
All of this can be avoided by wearing a mouthguard! A well fitting mouthguard is comfortable, allowing you to breathe, speak, and drink water normally as you train.
The mouthguards we recommend
The best mouthguard is the mouthguard you’ll wear. A poorly fitting mouthguard will be uncomfortable and will quickly find its way to the bottom of your gear bag, never to be seen again.
At Jiu Jitsu Legacy we’ve had the opportunity to have a
hands-on teeth-on experience with these mouthguards and can vouch for their comfort.
Despite being just 2 mm thin, this mouthguard comes with an impressive $50,000 warranty. Check out our full, hands-on review of this mouthguard for a more detailed look at this minimalist mouth protector.
At the end of the day, boil-n-bite mouthguards rarely fit perfectly. Impact solves this problem by offering custom-fit mouthguards. The way they do this is by sending you a dental mold which you bite in order to make an impression of your teeth. Then, using the provided shipping label, you send the mold back to the company to be turned into a comfortable, stylish, and durable mouthguard. Check out our full, hands-on review of this mouthguard for a more detailed look at this custom mouth protector.
Do mouthguards prevent concussions?
Unfortunately mouthguards do not prevent concussions. This was widely believed for a long time and is still cited as a reason to wear mouthguards, however current medical research has shown that mouthguards do not significantly reduce the incidence of concussions.
Do people usually wear mouthguards in BJJ?
According to a poll we conducted on Reddit, more than half of BJJ practitioners wear a mouthguard regularly. About 10% of the respondents said that they only started wearing a mouthguard after receiving an injury! Don’t wait to get hurt, mouthguards are inexpensive insurance against injury!
Do I need to wear a mouthguard for BJJ drills?
Due to the less intensive nature of drilling, injuries of all sorts are less likely to occur. However, a well-fitting mouthguard can be comfortable enough to put in at the beginning of class and kept in until the end. A good mouthguard will not interfere with your ability to breathe, speak, or drink water.
Since BJJ is not a striking sport, most people will find the protection offered by a mouthguard which only covers the top teeth to be sufficient. If you have braces on your bottom teeth or want to be extra cautious you may want to consider a mouthguard which covers both top and bottom.
Wear a mouthguard – Avoid buying your dentist’s next boat!
Even if you’ve had bad experiences with mouthguards in the past, we highly recommend you try again! Old school mouthguards were clunky and fit badly – often shedding bits of plastic into your mouth as you trained… but both the Sisu and Impact mouthguards are lightyears past those dinosaurs of yesteryear. Give them a shot and protect your teeth!
Evan is nomadic brown belt, currently living in Mexico. He enjoys pressure passes and tacos.