Basketball players get their fair share of injuries with over 40% sustained to the ankle or foot area. However, the issues don’t stop there with general trauma being the second most common type of injury encountered on the court, this category, includes facial injuries as well as impact to the teeth and jaw area.
In fact, basketball players have an injury potential 13 times that of football players, leading some studies to conclude that basketball is, in fact, the most dangerous sport in America. We don’t buy into that too much, yes accidents can happen but there are far more dangerous sports out there and I didn’t create this review guide to be a negative assessment of basketball in general.
Heck, I love the sport, however, and quite importantly, I also value my teeth and dental care in general but with the proper protective gear, you need not have any worries at all.
If you think the same as me then prevention is far better than cure and basketball players need to know just how important mouthguards are in protecting them from mouth injuries.
The fact that leading brands now compete quite aggressively in the mouthguard space, all aiming to design the best product says everything you need to know. Shock Doctor is one market leader who is continually developing new mouthguards to offer a custom fit feel at a boil and bite price point.
That’s a huge advantage for basketball players who don’t want to break the bank when purchasing a new mouthguard to protect their teeth and gums.
However, with so much competition it can be hard to make the right choice. After all, how do you tell marketing hype apart from genuine performance? You could look to see what mouthguard the likes of Steph Curry and LeBron might be wearing, but of course, we know this will likely be decided by some sort of sponsorship deal.
I also can’t blame you for not purchasing several mouthguards and then choosing the best one, this would mean having to wear four to five different mouthguards just to decide on the perfect fit for you, not to mention the cost of all those products.
That’s why I’ve done exactly that for you.
I purchased 11 of the best basketball mouthguards I found on Amazon with a combined value of $150 and tested each one individually. I played basketball competitively in high school so I like to think I know a thing or two about the sport, as well as studying Dentistry for over two years (before pursuing different paths).
My Reviews: The Best Basketball Mouthguards
Without wasting your time any long let’s cut straight to the chase. In fact I’ve condensed all of my reviews into the table below so you can compare the top 3 mouthguards quickly.
You’re here to find the perfect sports mouthguard available and that’s exactly why I’ve put this guide together.
My review process consisted of testing each of the 11 mouthguards on criteria such as comfort (did the mouthguard feel like a custom fit guard), protection ( has the guard been designed with safety in mind), and bonus features (this evaluated each mouthguard and brand based on functionality such as breathing channels and how easy they were to mold).
Straight out of the packaging this mouthguard looks extremely small. I was convinced I had purchased the ‘youth’ size, even though it had Adult 11+ printed prominently on the case.
My fears quickly disappeared when I tried the mouthguard on for the first time and size seemed to be perfect straight out of the box (maybe I’m not such a big mouth after all!).
This mouthguard did tick a lot of the boxes for me. It features a double layer system consisting of a Nextfit gel frame with a high-density rubber frame over the top that did give me confidence that my teeth and gums would be protected.
The double-layer system has been developed to offer better comfort with the gel frame while the high-density outer frame is designed for shock absorption and I’ve got to say it works pretty damn well.
The Venum Challenger also offers an ‘exclusive’ breathing channel for increased performance. I’m not entirely sure if I did see a performance boost from the mouthguard alone but my breathing was never an issue during my testing process. I felt like I could play all day as did several friends who were also reviewing the mouthguard with me.
The only real downside to this product was that it can’t be worn with braces. That didn’t stop me but I know a lot of my readers will be looking for this as a feature and it is not something currently offered by the Venum Challenger.
To wrap this review up, I really can’t speak highly enough about this mouthguard to other basketball players I’ve spoken to since testing it.
It wasn’t the most expensive guard on this list but to me it felt like it offered the most protection.
The fitting also felt perfect straight out the case, a huge bonus for someone not wanting to boil and mold their mouthguard themselves.
Shock Doctor has already been referenced once so far in this guide and most basketball fans and players will already be aware of their reputation, regardless if you have tried one of their mouthguards before.
The Shock Doctor product I reviewed was the Gel Max, Boil and Bite fitting guard. A custom fit guard would be nice to review but I wanted to test readily available mouthguards and as the Number 1 Mouthguard in the World you shouldn’t have any problem finding Shock Doctor products either online or at your local sports store.
Interestingly, the fitting of this mouthguard felt a lot like the Venum Challenger, and this is no doubt due to the gel layer added by both brands. This design aids comfort in just about every way possible and although this is a boil and bite mouthguard the molding process didn’t take long at all.
To be honest there wasn’t too much at all that separates the Shock Doctor Max Gel and the Venum Challenger. I reviewed both extensively trying to find major dislikes or negatives about either product and in the end, it came down to how the Challenger felt to me. You might have a different opinion and I would still recommend the Gel Max to anyone that asked.
Both guards are Latex, Phthalate and BPA free so get full marks there with Shock Doctor maybe edging the design aspect with more colors available as well as a flavor fusion.
The SISU Aero NextGen
The first thing I noticed when ordering this mouthguard was the range of colors it is available in. As my friends would be the first to tell you, I’m not the most stylish of guys so I went for the snow white colorway but there are some very cool designs when it comes to this mouthpiece.
What you will notice about this mouthguard straight out of the packaging is how it is completely flat. Unlike other mouthguards that are ready to wear this one has to be molded before use.
However, the fitting process was extremely easy to follow. SISU also add that the guard can be remolded up to 20 times. I didn’t test it that many times but I did remold the mouthguard three times just to see if the process was as easy the second and third times around and I have to say it was.
The biggest surprise for me when it came to this mouthguard was just how comfortable and protective the ultra-light design was. It is thinner than other conventional mouthguards, and for most of the time, I tested the guard I completely forgot I was wearing it. Combined with its fast, custom and re-moldable fit, this mouthguard is excellent both for youth basketball players and adults.
Because of the ease of the fitting process, this mouthguard was also straightforward to remove between breaks in play, no yanking at the guard to get it out of my mouth.
A few last points of the features of the SISU Aero NextGen include the fact that it doesn’t come with a case like some competing products, meaning you will have to find somewhere clean and convenient to store it. However, the mouthguard can be worn with braces. The brand does advise the fitting is carried out by a dental professional but this is a huge bonus for anyone looking for a sports mouthguard to wear with braces.
Overall I was hugely impressed by this mouthguard. The comfort levels were second to none, I felt like I could wear it all day. The lack of case did lose this guard some points purely because I like to have somewhere to store my mouthguard but I have to say that for the price, this mouthguard punches well above its weight.
Read our full SISU mouthguard review here.
Impact Custom Fit Sports Mouthguard
These custom fit mouthguards fit perfectly and allow you to speak and breathe with ease.
Because of the custom fitting design of these mouthguards, they are slightly more expensive than other alternatives that have been reviewed.
There are pros and cons to paying a higher price, firstly you are guaranteed state of the art design, and because of the custom fit nature you know you’re getting a mouthguard that will feel comfortable no matter how many times you wear it. This isn’t always the case with some mouth guards when you may have to worry whether or not you have purchased the right size. This price point also means the highest level of protection, meaning you can play basketball confidently knowing your teeth and gums are protected.
The cons mean that there is a range of other products available for a fraction of the price that delivers the same results. Many of the reviews in this guide describe those alternatives in detail including the Venum Challenger and Shock Doctor Max Gel.
Overall do we recommend this product? If you’ve got the money to spend then maybe, however, there are now so many competing mouth guards with the features to rival this design that we would probably recommend you purchase and use another basketball mouthguard.
Teeth Armor Mouthguard
The Teeth Armour mouth guards I reviewed for this guide was a double set “designed to fit any size”.
To be honest, the quicker I get this particular product review over, the better. These mouthguards just didn’t agree with my mouth. I don’t know what it was but no matter how many times I followed the fitting instructions I just couldn’t get these mouthguards to mold correctly. Not only that but I had to frequently remove these guards while playing to breathe and drink.
All in all, there are far superior mouthguards available.
Shock Doctor Pro Mouthguard
The second Shock Doctor product to appear in these reviews, the Shock Doctor Pro is exceptionally lightweight and provides almost unrivaled comfort.
Similar to the Gel Max, one of the core features of this guard is that it is designed with a dual composite construction making it durable and comfortable whilst also including a base for shock absorption. One unique feature of this mouthguard is its well-designed jaw pads that offer a wide channel for breathing. It can also be worn comfortably with braces.
The brand recommends that it can be used by over the age of 11 years old which makes it the best youth basketball mouthguard I reviewed during our research. It is easy to mold and fit as all you need to do is pop it into boiling water and bite to mold it into your desired shape.
UA Hoops Mouthguard
As far as bite mouthguards go the UA Hoops Mouthguard had a look of positives going for it. I felt well-protected at all times testing this mouthguard and enjoyed how the guard let me easily talk during play while also take on fluids when needed.
Its material is hydrophobic thus it does not absorb water or deteriorate making it sturdy and durable. It is microwavable, boilable, re-moldable, chew resistant and is also easy to talk and breathe with, so just about ticks all of the boxes.
It is also ideal for players with braces.
Shock Doctor SuperFit Strapless
Another Shock Doctor review I can hear you thinking! Hear me out for a second, the SuperFit was recommended by a friend of mine that I also play basketball with so taking this suggestion on board I thought I may as well include it here along with my other reviews.
Overall I enjoyed basketball in comfort whilst using this guard with its InVent tech adding to the custom fit this mouthguard offered.
Protective and supper fitting this mouthguard also come with shock-absorbing windows meant to offer extra jaw protection. Not only that but it can be customized to offer a tight and comfortable fit and allows airflow to ensure that you do not struggle with breathing during a game.
The mouth guard meets all national and high school standards which make it an ideal youth basketball mouthguard and to mold this mouthguard to your teeth and gums you only need warm water, no boiling necessary!
This mouthguard, however, is not recommendable for use with braces but it does form a chassis shape to fit any tooth dimension.
ProDental Sports Mouthguards
This mouthpiece has a professional design and support and is one of the only moldable basketball mouthguards on the market that follows direct dentist instructions. This means if you have trouble molding or fitting it, your dentist can send lab support to help you.
It is customizable to offer protection against teeth and jaw grinding when playing basketball and can be designed to fit any size or shape of a mouth for maximum comfort and retention.
Overall this mouthguard is durable and made to be long-lasting, easy to clean and maintain. As well as that it is odor and taste-free, perfect if you paly a range of sports alongside basketball.
Oral Mart Sports Mouthguard
The kid’s and adult’s size oral mart sports mouthguards come in both small and large sizes as the name suggests. I reviewed the adult size but I have had very positive reviews and feedback for the youth mouth guard as well.
I would say this guard is ‘medium’ size in thickness and should not cause discomfort or breath shortness.
Providing maximum protection this mouthguard is made from silicone BPA free material which allows the user to shape it quickly and keep it for a long time.
The protector has a shock-absorbent element thus protecting lips, teeth, and gums from any on-court injuries.
This mouthpiece also comes with a free case for secure storage as well as clear, step by step instructions on how to mold and use it. If you’re looking for a mouthguard that can help you breathe easily while playing basketball then this is a solid product.
If you are serious about playing basketball, you are highly likely to be serious about your mouth’s safety, and that is where ProDefenda Mouthguard has you covered. This is a high-quality mouth protector you can trust for protection and comfort.
You can be sure that it fits well but most importantly it provides you with high-grade protection for your mouth whenever and wherever you play basketball.
I found it easy to breathe while testing this mouth guard as the design has been created to enable breathing channels.
It comes with comprehensive instructions, so you do not have to waste time re-molding and re-fitting it to get the tight and comfortable fit you need. It has anti-slip pads for maximum grip, and it is made with two layers to ensure that you do not bite through the shield.
Its best features include; stylish design, being ideal for basketball players of all ages, is designed with a double-layered frame, easy to mold, shock absorption element, as well as being easy to clean, maintain and store.
Do I need to Wear a Basketball Mouthguard?
Yes. End of section, let’s move on…
Of course, if you need me to build on this answer we only need to jump back to the very first paragraph I wrote. Basketball players, just like athletes in other fast-paced sports are prone to mouth injuries whether during competitive games or just while playing with friends.
Unfortunately, particularly in some amateur leagues, most basketball players wear no protective equipment at all.
Although the sport is not about dominating opponents with physical strength, there are always physical battles that happen throughout a game that might end up with a player sustaining mouth injuries.
As a result, playing basketball with a mouthguard helps with:
Protection when rebounding – Physical contact in basketball occurs mostly when players are involved in challenging for rebounds.
Players’ hands and elbows can often end up hitting their opponents as they try to extend their arms to collect a rebound.
This mainly happens when a player has already secured a rebound and swings the ball overhead when coming down. Swinging arms can, unfortunately, end up with direct impact to the mouth or face of a teammate or opponent and is the primary cause of dental injuries for basketball players.
Boosting confidence – Most basketball players have at one time suffered mouth injuries which can be traumatizing. Wearing a mouthguard can boost your confidence while on the court which will enable you to play the game freely with peace of mind.
Popular Types of Basketball Mouthguards
There are three main types of basketball mouthguards, these are:
Stock mouthguards are the cheapest option when it comes to mouthguards for basketball and can be purchased over the counter or online.
However, they often don’t fit well in the mouth; meaning you will have to keep your mouth closed to keep them in place and therefore not ideal for most basketball players.
Communication is key while playing basketball but with stock mouthguards, it is impossible to communicate via the mouth.
Boil and bite mouthguards
Just as the name suggests, these mouthguards have to be boiled and bitten to fit in the mouth.
They are an excellent option for most budgets since you can design them to fit your mouth the way you want.
The best mouthguard is one that provides both comfort and protection, and boil-and-bite mouthguards do so.
You only need to place the plastic mouthguard in boiling water, take it out and place it in your mouth and bite it to fit the shape of your jaw and teeth. You can also use your fingers to model it for a perfect fit.
Custom fit mouthguards
These mouthpieces are mostly found in dental offices as they are designed based on the dentist’s instructions.
The dentist will evaluate your needs and your teeth dimensions before sending them to the laboratory for the device to be tailored.
These can sometimes be a better option compared to bite and boil since, at times with bite and boil, you might overheat or bite it wrongly, causing damage. Also, with custom-made mouthguards, you can be assured that you are safe since the dental professionals will only offer you something clean and bacteria-free.
Custom made mouthguards are the most expensive among all the options considered in this guide.
Considerations When Buying a Mouthguard
While most mouthguards resemble each other, they are not all as similar as they may seem.
Some of the factors that differ when purchasing a mouthguard are age, design, and fit.
Here are some of the features that will help you choose the right mouthguard to suit your needs.
It is not a mouthguard if it cannot offer you proper protection. Ensure that the guard protects the crucial zones which are the areas around the front teeth and near the molars. Also, the mouthpiece should not feel heavy or bulky in your mouth which can lead to more damage being caused when contact is made.
Protection and comfort are equally important. You should not pick an uncomfortable mouthguard just because you feel that it is providing the protection you need.
You need to be at ease when on the court. Comfort enhances confidence, meaning you can concentrate on the game.
It is good to look beyond the performance of the mouthguards and consider personalized features like the taste and flavor. Also, the logo and design of the guard should be considered.
Purchase a mouthguard that fulfills all your needs in this department.
Can it be worn with braces
This is one of the critical factors when getting a mouthguard. Braces are expensive, and they are prone to get damaged easily if not well cared for.
You need to ensure that they are highly protected and ensure that your mouthguard does not interfere with your braces.
In this case, a custom fit mouthguard is the best option as it will be made based on your mouth structure to fit over the wires and brackets of your braces.
Many of the sports mouthguards I purchased on Amazon for the reviews above either weren’t compatible with braces or recommend consulting a dental professional to help with molding if they were.
Easy to clean
A good mouthguard should be easy to clean and maintain. Leaving it unclean can lead to the accumulation of bacteria which could lead to infections.
Leading dental experts now recommend mouthguards to all basketball players especially those in youth leagues who are more likely to suffer from injuries as they are not so used to the fast-paced nature of the sport.
Broken and disfigured teeth are things that no one would wish to experience.
Prevention is better than cure, and therefore, you should not wait until you suffer an unforgettable blow before you rush to the dentist or store to get a mouthguard.
Get yours today and stay safe whenever and wherever you play basketball.