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Best Athletic Mouthguards

Updated October 2021
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Best of the Best
SafeJawz Slim Fit Mouthguard
Slim Fit Mouthguard
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Best for Kids
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Basic option with no coloring.


Built to fill the contours of the user's teeth, ensuring a perfect fit for young and growing mouths. Remodel tech adjusts with every use, making it great for children who are still losing teeth. The smaller shape prevents gagging.


While it might fit some adults, several buyers found it way too small for them.

Best Bang for the Buck
Vanmor 6 Pack Sports Mouthguards
6 Pack Sports Mouthguards
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Large Set
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A set of 6 for a bargain price for those who want several options to pick from.


The box includes 6 items for less than some companies charge for 1 or 2. Great for kids and adults alike. Soak in 80° F water for maximum comfort and adhesion to your mouth. EVA insert is safe for users without annoying taste. Great for contact sports. Includes convenient case.


The included case is known to pop open, so be careful.

SISU Aero Sports Mouthguard
Aero Sports Mouthguard
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Thin But Tough
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Unique design is powerful with about half the thickness of others.


Thin design allows wearer to talk easily and use it comfortably. One of the thinnest options on the market. Offered in a dozen color choices. Distributes impact forces over the full area of the mouthpiece. Includes wide bite pad.


May cause abrasions. Not made for children 10 and younger.

Venum Challenger Mouthguard
Challenger Mouthguard
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Durable & Rugged
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Extremely comfortable option that includes a storage case.


The impressively versatile design aims to allow the wearer to breathe more easily while working out. The rubber frame helps with shock absorption. Works especially well for martial arts participants. Offered in several color design options. Great for sports that require prolonged use.


Some users could bite through the thin areas.

Teeth Walls Sport Mouthguard
Teeth Walls
Sport Mouthguard
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

Affordable, ready to wear, and works well for playing many types of sports.


Soft material is comfortable for most wearers and doesn't require boiling to shape. Vented design. Protects upper and lower teeth. Can be worn over braces. Decent price point.


Somewhat bulky, so it may not work well for smaller mouths.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best athletic mouthguards

Athletic mouthguards seem so commonplace in most sports that they don’t always get the attention they’re due. For years, getting an athletic mouthguard was a simple task of choosing from three different sizes, which didn’t always fit correctly even after boiling the mouthguard to shape it a little more closely to the teeth. However, a simple mouthguard is not always the right choice.

Finding the right mouthguard for a sport is essential for a lot of reasons — not just for comfort, but for injury prevention as well. Today’s athletic mouthguards come in a range of materials, including flexible silicone, soft EVA, and instant-fit gel, to provide the best fit possible. You can also find them with handy features, such as lip guards and straps, as well as in different colors and designs.

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Professional boxing was the first sport to require mouthguards, beginning in the 1920s. High school football didn’t require mouthguards until 1962.

Key considerations

An athletic mouthguard protects the teeth and the inside of the mouth from injury due to impact. It can prevent or reduce the severity of injuries to the jaw and may help to prevent or reduce a concussion. That’s why mouthguards are now seen in every contact sport and at every level, from pee-wee players to professional athletes.

The type of mouthguard varies based on the needs of the athlete and the sport. For example, a football quarterback needs to be able to call plays through the mouthguard, while a defensive lineman needs a bigger guard that protects against repeated heavy hits. A boxer needs a stabilizing mouthguard that still allows for free breathing through multiple rounds.

Mouthguards also can conform to individual needs. Those with braces, for example, need a mouthguard that fits around their braces and allows for changes in the alignment of their teeth. In fact, the fit of a mouthguard in general is important, because players whose mouthguards don’t fit well may be less likely to use them.

Because of the need to tailor an athletic mouthguard to the sport and to the player, getting a stock guard — one that can’t be adjusted — isn’t recommended for contact sports like ice hockey, football, or martial arts. Athletes who wear mouthguards for added safety in noncontact sports, like mountain biking or skateboarding, will find stock guards uncomfortable as well.

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Did you know?
A good mouthguard can last three to five years if properly cared for. Athletes under the age of 14 may need their mouthguard refitted or replaced every two years due to changes in their mouth and teeth.


Mouthguards have come a long way from the days of inflexible “gum shields” that boxers struggled to fit over their teeth. Today, athletic mouthguards come in more than one type and feature patterns and designs that would make previous generations jealous.

Types of mouthguards

  • Stock: The least expensive and least comfortable mouthguard available, a stock mouthguard comes in just a few sizes and can’t be adjusted.

  • Boil-and-bite: An affordable option for parents with younger players, this mouthguard is made of a material that softens slightly when placed in boiling water and hardens when it returns to room temperature. While still warm, the guard is fitted tightly around the teeth so that it better conforms to their shape.

  • Custom: This is a pricey option for athletes who need precise fit, comfort, and shape. A dentist or specialist creates the mouthguard using a vacuum-form or pressure-laminated process after making a mold of the athlete’s teeth.

Common materials

  • Thermoplastic: This material, used frequently in boil-and-bite mouthguards, softens when heated and can be found in clear or laminated versions.

  • Instant-fit gel: This conforms to the wearer’s teeth without needing to boil the mouthguard first.

  • Silicone: A flexible material, silicone is ideal for those with braces because their teeth alignment is changing.

  • EVA: Ethylene-vinyl acetate is a soft, flexible rubber-like material that cushions the teeth.

Optional features

  • Lip guard: A polymer shield that fits to the front of the mouthguard and covers the wearer’s lips. This can be helpful in sports where the helmet does not include a face mask or cage.

  • Strap: This is used to tether the mouthguard to the helmet so it doesn’t get lost. Sometimes the strap is molded onto the mouthguard. On convertible mouthguards, the strap can be removed.

  • Color or designs: Users can opt for mouthguards in several different colors or with designs like geometric shapes, flowers, or fangs.

Athletic mouthguard prices

Inexpensive: Stock mouthguards, which require no adjustment, are the lowest-priced mouthguards available with a price of $5 to $8.

Mid-range: Boil-and-bite mouthguards rule the middle price range and can be found between $11 and $21.

Expensive: More specialized mouthguards, such as double guards that protect teeth with braces, can cost between $23 and $46, setting them at the high end of the price spectrum, while custom-made mouthguards, obtained through a dentist, can cost $200 or more.


  • A thin, tight-fitting mouthguard is good for athletes who need to speak, breathe, and drink more easily.

  • Flavored mouthguards mask the taste of the rubber material with a fruity flavor.

  • A convertible mouthguard is ideal for those who can’t decide whether to use a strap or not.

  • In sports like hockey, where a full helmet is worn, a mouthguard with a thin front profile and thicker protection on either side will protect against collisions.

  • Athletes wearing braces should consider custom-fit mouthguards for their top and bottom teeth that are more comfortable to wear while protecting the hardware and teeth.

  • Clean your mouthguard after each use by rinsing it in water.

  • Keep the mouthguard in its case when not in use.

  • If a mouthguard needs deeper cleaning, soak it in an effervescent denture cleaner; avoid scrubbing with a toothbrush or toothpaste.

  • When shaping a boil-and-bite mouthguard, be careful not to bite all the way through the bottom of the guard.

  • If a stock or boil-and-bite mouthguard rubs against your gums, use scissors or an X-ACTO knife to trim down the top of the guard.

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Athletic mouthguards absorb impact from a punch, tackle, or heavy blow and distribute the force of that impact through the guard material — dramatically reducing the level of direct force reaching the teeth and jaw.


Q.  Should a mouthguard protect both the upper and lower teeth?

A.  Unless the rules of the sport require upper and lower protection, or you have a specific need to protect the upper and lower teeth (such as braces), a mouthguard for the upper teeth only is usually adequate. Remember, the bigger the mouthguard, the bulkier it feels and the more it can restrict breathing.

Q.  I feel like I can’t breathe when wearing a mouthguard. Am I doing something wrong?

A. Try refitting your mouthguard if it’s a boil-and-bite by placing it back in boiling water for several seconds (usually less than a minute), letting it cool slightly, and then placing it over your upper teeth. Use your fingers to press the guard against the teeth, and close your jaw firmly to press your lower teeth against the bottom of the guard. The guard should stay in place when you open and close your mouth without slipping. If that doesn’t work, try a different athletic mouthguard that has a thinner profile or more breathing holes.

Q.  My mouthguard used to fit perfectly, but now it slips out of place and is uncomfortable to wear. Can I fix it?

A.  You can try boiling it again and refitting, but if the guard is well worn or looks warped or frayed around the edges, it is probably time to replace it.

Q. I have a mouthguard that I wear for football. Can I use it for MMA sparring as well?

A.  For boxing, MMA, and other martial arts sparring, you need a mouthguard that allows you to breathe as easily as possible while providing protection from direct contact to the face. Mouthguards for football and lower-priced stock mouthguards aren’t ideal for sparring. Plus, constant use will break down the mouthguard more quickly. Instead, get a separate mouthguard for sparring.

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