What to Look For When Buying a Mouthguard for MMA The MMA Corner Staff July 1, 2019 News MMA fighters are arguably some of the fittest athletes on the planet. However, MMA obviously requires far more than just pure fitness, with immense skill, focus, and concentration just three desirable traits. And as we all know, big punches and kicks that hit their mark can cause serious injury. It’s only normal, if you’re stepping into the octagon with the skills listed above, your opponent is going to be just as well prepared as well. One way to take your preparation up a notch is to ensure you wear the correct protective gear. The use of an MMA mouthguard is a must-have accessory for all fighters to ensure maximum protection against injury. This post takes a closer look at 3 key factors to consider when buying a mouthguard that will protect you from dental injuries while in the octagon. Custom vs Boil-and Bite Mouthguard Boil-and-bite mouthguards are great if you are on a tight budget or strict timeline, but if you are looking for a mouthguard that offers maximum protection then a custom mouthguard is recommended. Depending on the brand, certain custom manufactures will send a molding kit out to you in the mail when you order your mouthguard. The kit comes with instructions and once sent back to the manufacturer they proceed to build your custom mouthguard. This makes the purchase slightly longer than a boil and bite mouthguard but does have a number of benefits. Being customised to your teeth and gums custom mouthguards ensure easy breathing and speaking. Mouthguard Size The correct size is vital when purchasing a mouthguard. A mouthguard that is too small won’t offer full protection and a big bulky mouthguard will make breathing more difficult. Ensure you choose the right size mouthguard by making sure it fits snug against your upper teeth. If it feels like you have to bite or clench the mouthguard in order to keep it in place then it is too big and should probably be replaced. Design and Style Mouthguards are available in a variety of different styles. Single-arch designs are mouthguards that are fitted to the athletes’ upper jaw and are the most commonly used variety. The lower jaw joint allows for free movement, due to this movement the lower jaw can withstand force with the help of reactive movement. In comparison, the upper jaw is fixed and a mouthguard is required in order to buffer the shock of hard blows. Dual-arch designs fit over both the upper and the lower jaw. This design offers maximum protection but it isn’t as commonly used due to the fact that this type of mouthguard can be uncomfortable to wear. Final thoughts Safety is very important and it is something that every MMA fighter should take seriously. A good mouthguard is a must-have if you are planning on stepping into the octagon any time soon and making sure to remember the factors outlined above before purchasing a mouthguard for MMA can have a huge impact on the quality of mouthpiece you choose.