This is our review of the best basketball mouthguards for basketball players in 2021.
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Many mouthguards are ill-fitting. It’s difficult to relax your jaw, and as a result, your teeth block the airway channel. You can only imagine the discomfort. On the other hand, a good mouthguard fits well, meets national and state regulations, and is built with technology that provides ample protection against high impact, which is vital for every basketball player.
During the first game of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference semifinal between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas fractured one of his teeth. Such dental injuries are why every basketball player, professional, high school, or AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) should wear the best basketball mouthguard.
In this article, we cover vital aspects to look for in a quality mouthguard. We also provide a roundup of the best tried-and-tested mouthguards, classifying them under the following categories:
- Best overall
- Best budget
- Most innovative
- Best age option
- Best lip protector
- Best strapless.
All these mouthguards are great, but our best choice is the Shock Doctor. This device stands out because of its extra features that ensure a player’s comfort and safety.
Keep reading to learn more.
- Best Overall
- Triple-layered protection
- Can be molded per requirement and customizable colors
- Best Custom Sizing
- Boil-and-use technology
- 100% BPA-free, PVC-free, and latex-free materials
- Most Innovative
- Easy to talk, breathe and drink without removing the guard
- 32% stronger than average EVA mouthguard
- Best Lip Protector
- Large airflow capacity
- High dental warranty
- Best Strapless
- Doesn't absorb water and deteriorate
- $32,000 Dental warranty
Best Basketball Mouthguard Review
After conducting extensive research, we came up with this selection of basketball mouthguards. We also outline why each of them made it to our list of top picks.
Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouthguard is one of the best and high-quality mouthguards available in the market. Shock Doctor is a well-established brand that's kept up its standards by offering high-quality products for the comfort and safety of athletes.
This mouthguard comes with many added features to facilitate a player's worry-free performance on the court. For example, you can customize and mold the Shock Doctor Gel Max mouthguard as per your dental structure.
Additionally, the product features a variety of colors that you can personalize to suit your preference, and what's more, you can choose between flavored and unflavored types too.
Also, whether you need the mouthguard in a strapless or strapped design, Shock Doctor has made sure you get what you prefer.
You don't have to worry about your health and safety since the material used to build Shock Doctor Gel Max mouthguards is chemically tested to ensure it's 100% safe for use. In addition, this mouthguard has a triple-layered protective covering for maximum shock absorption.
The manufacturers paid plenty of attention to detail when designing this device, making sure it can bear substantial impacts. Additionally, with its various size ranges, the Shock Doctor Gel Max mouthguard offers ample variety, though only for adults.
This device is breathable and medically tested for gluten and allergens.
- Triple-layered protection
- Customizable colors
- Wide size range accommodating adults
- Can be molded per requirement
- Fits with braces
- The flavor is not refillable
- Size range doesn't accommodate kids
The Redline Sportswear is a boil-and-bite mouthguard that ensures a perfect fit to your teeth. It may be a bit bigger, but it's quite comfortable.
Redline Sportswear mouthguard features a boil-and-use technology that’s pretty simple to use and works great for both children and adult basketballers. With its interesting dual-layer design lined with gel, the product offers ample protection to users. You'll find it in a variety of colors too.
Safety is a guarantee with the Redline Sportswear mouthguard because it's made using 100% BPA-free, PVC-free, and latex-free materials.
In order to protect the mouthguard from damage and dirt, the product features a vented carrying case. You'll also find a carabiner that makes it easy to clip your mouthguard case to your sports bag or hang it in your locker.
Redline Sportswear mouthguard is a durable, affordable, and effective option for basketball players.
- Highly customizable
- Available in a variety of colors
- Protection for both genders
- May melt if boiled for too long
- Tends to be a little bigger
The Sisu NextGen Aero Guard stands out from most of the basketball mouthguards in the market today. It is a product of Akervall, one of the fastest-growing companies in Michigan. They've even been awarded several times for their ingenious approach to mouthguards.
The Sisu Aero features completely flat plastic. Unlike most of the other mouthguards, this device barely resembles the jaw shape. However, don't underestimate it, for this simple flat piece of plastic is one of the most innovative designs available for teeth protection in the market today.
What's amazing about this product is it's moldable, allowing you to fit it perfectly into your teeth. In addition, it features a 1.6mm thick material that largely contributes to its pleasant feel, making it one of the most comfortable mouthguards we've ever seen.
The Sisu Aero is pretty light. You may even forget you're wearing one. Breathing and speaking could never be easier with this device, making it perfect for basketball where talking with your teammates at all times is necessary.
This mouthguard is thin, and no doubt you're worried the thinness means less protection. But don't worry. The manufacturers did extensive research, creating a product they claim to be 32% stronger than your average EVA mouthguard.
And what happens if something doesn't work right with this mouthguard? Well, Sisu offers one of the best warranties and hefty dental insurance of about $35,000.
We wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Sisu Aero mouthguard to basketball players who like unique, innovative, and lightweight devices.
- Tight fit
- Distributes impact forces
- It sucks in the air gently
- A bit expensive
- Leaves out the back teeth
The Shock Doctor Pro gives you the best value for an affordable price. This boil and bite mouthguard offers customizability and comfort, and is suitable for all types of contact sports, including basketball.
You have the option to get the Shock Doctor Pro with or without a strap as well. It has a multi-layer construction and a shock-absorbing bumper that protects your front teeth.
This particular mouthguard is also compatible with braces; you don't have to worry about messing up your teeth during realignment or wasting the money you spent on braces.
Something else that's great about the Shock Doctor Pro mouthguard is that you can talk without having to take it off, which is a relief. The material also makes it comfortable to breathe with it on.
What's more, the Shock Doctor Pro comes with a $10,000 Dental Warranty so you can feel secure about your purchase and its quality.
- Custom sizing with boil and bite technology
- Durable and shock absorbent
- Compatible with braces
- $10,000 Dental Warranty
- Size runs small
- May melt if boiled for too long
The Shock Doctor Gel Max Airflow is one of the best basketball mouthguards and oxygen king of all lip guards.
This mouthguard meets both national and state regulations, featuring a reinforced outer frame to enhance protection.
Additionally, it has a high-impact technology consisting of a breathing channel. You can take a deep breath of 10% more flow capacity via the device's airflow breathing channel, the greatest capacity of all lip guards.
The material used to build it is BPA, latex, and Phthalate-free. And what's amazing about the Gel Max Airflow is you can use it with braces.
To ensure maximum comfort of the players, the Gel Max Airflow has integral bite pads. What that means is it's designed in a way that relaxes your jaw, preventing your teeth from obstructing the breathing channel.
What's more, you can wear your favorite color as there's a wide assortment of lip guard graphics, colors, and chrome.
Gel Max Airflow is perfect for kids, teenagers, youth, and adults playing basketball and other sports. In addition, the device comes with a dental/ teeth warranty of approximately $10,000.
- Large airflow capacity
- High dental warranty
- Meets national and state high school standard
- Excellent lip protection
- Usable with braces
- Requires no mold fit
The Under Armor Fit mouthguard is a perfect mouthguard for basketball players. It's the best strapless mouthguard available in the market.
The device is easy to fit with boiling and microwaving technology—you just need 30 seconds to boil or 45 seconds to microwave. Then, bite it to fit. The mouthguard is created with a chew-resistant hydrophobic material to ensure it doesn't absorb water and deteriorate.
The Under Armor Fit mouthguard offers great protection for both jaws and gums. It is suitable for both the youth and adults, but not kids.
If you love strapless mouthguards, this is the device for you. It's comfortable, breathable, and allows you to easily communicate while you play while perfectly protecting your teeth.
The Under Armor Fit mouthguard meets NFHS regulations and comes with a $32,000 dental warranty.
It's available in colors white and green.
- High quality
- Superior protection
- Has warranty
- Chew resistant.
- Fresh flavor
- Unsuitable for kids
- No straps
Ultimate Buyer's Guide: What to Consider When Choosing the Best Basketball Mouthguard
Finding the right mouthguard fit for your favorite contact sport is never an easy task. To find the best mouthguard for you, you need to consider numerous aspects.
In this section, we'll help you narrow down your search by looking out for these essential features of a basketball mouthguard. Subsequently, this will help you select the device most suitable for those hard-hitting encounters.
Undoubtedly, this is the number one thing you need to consider when purchasing a basketball mouthguard. After all, it's the primary reason you're on the market for a mouthguard.
You'll find some high-quality mouthguards that irritate some players. Therefore, you can be sure they're not worn for the added comfort they provide. It's the protection. Hence, if a mouthguard isn't going to protect your teeth, you don't need to wear it.
Although mouthguards are designed to offer protection to your teeth, the best mouthguards provide something more – they distribute impact across your mouth perfectly. Unfortunately, for the lower-quality mouthguards, they'll do very little to protect your teeth.
Go for a basketball mouth guard that guarantees maximum protection for your teeth in case of a nasty encounter.
Although protection is paramount when choosing the best basketball mouthguard, comfort comes as a close second.
You can get as much protection as is humanly possible from your guard. However, if you feel like you have an entire basketball sitting on your mouth while you're playing, this will impact your breathing negatively. It also won't be possible for you to communicate with your teammates, which is a significant detraction to enjoying your game.
For this reason, we recommend you go for custom-made mouthguards that fit much better to your specific mold. Such mouthguards also ensure you can easily breathe and talk.
On the other hand, stock-fit mouthguards are less comfortable and can greatly interfere with your ability to enjoy the game. Why? They're pre-molded and don't take into account your specific mouth structure.
Considering the price you pay typically goes hand in hand with your budget, the price of a basketball guard is an essential factor to keep in mind when choosing the best basketball mouthguard.
There's a major price variation between bottom-end mouth guards and top-end mouth guards, as with most commodities. Therefore, know which price level your budget fits in.
You'll find the cheapest devices from your local chemist for as little as $5.
Nevertheless, to get the best of the best, it's a good idea to visit your dentist first. The dentist will take a mold of your teeth and produce a custom-fit mouthguard. That said, if you opt for the latter way of going about getting a mouthguard, be ready to spend several hundred dollars.
There are also custom-fit mouth guards in the middle range that you can fit by yourself – the boil-and-fit mouth guards. They're relatively good, and you can purchase them for approximately $15.
Higher quality devices in this category will require you to dig deeper into your pockets. However, they're worth it, offering more comfort and protection.
Another essential feature to look out for is the product design for breathability.
The best basketball mouthguard should be fully breathable during active sports. You'll be running all over the court for four quarters and thus need to maintain your breathing pace, making breathability a key feature to consider when picking the right basketball mouthguard.
Make sure the basketball mouthguard you choose is durable enough to give you a long-lasting experience.
A mouth guard that's not durable gets deformed, failing to fulfill its purpose. Hence, it's a waste of money.
It's worth noting that sometimes how you treat and handle your mouthguard contributes a lot to how long it lasts.
Mouthguards are available in the market in three different styles:
Stock mouthguards are considered the least expensive and are readily available at local chemists, pharmacies, and sports stores.
However, this cheaper price comes with a caveat; they may restrict your breathing or speaking, and also, to keep the mouthguard fit, you have to close your mouth. Can you imagine not communicating with your teammates during a match, important as it is?
Now due to these mouthguards' stark disadvantages, most dental authorities consider them unacceptable for basketball or any other contact sport for that matter.
An ill-fitting mouthguard is not only annoying as it will keep falling out of your mouth, causing you to lose your concentration during the game. It also offers less protection, sometimes even hurting your gums.
Fortunately, boil-and-bite mouthguards provide a more reliable fit as they're easy to create a custom mouthpiece that fits your mouth well. It's no wonder they've grown so popular.
Although each boil-and-bite mouthguard type comes with its own set of instructions, almost all models work similarly.
To use this mouthpiece:
- Put the mouthpiece in boiling or hot water.
- Take the device out of the water, insert it into your mouth, and bite on it.
- Suck in the air and, using your fingertips, create a snug and perfect fit.
The Sisu Aero Is one example of such a model where this molding method works well. However, if the molding doesn't come out well, you can repeat the procedure, remolding up to 20 times.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are generated from your mouth's impression. Therefore, as the name goes, they fit very well and provide excellent protection.
However, this perfect fit comes with a cost, literally. Custom-fitted mouthguards are the most expensive of mouth-protection devices. So you'll find a dentist charging around $300 to $500 to provide you with such types of mouthguards.
If you can afford this mouthguard, rest assured you'll get the best protection and comfort. Plus, it will allow you to talk and breathe easily.
Why is Wearing a Basketball Mouthguard Necessary?
According to statistics, basketball is the sport with the highest number of dental injuries. Also, some surveys show that 25% of dental injuries occur during soccer and basketball matches. For this reason, the NFSH (National Federation of State High School Associations) made it mandatory to use a mouthguard when playing in basketball events.
Allow me to take you down a walk through memory lane. Remember the match between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat in 2018? After Kevin Love was elbowed in the face, he had to leave the game with a bloody and nasty dental injury.
Additionally, in 2019, Fred VanVleet was also elbowed by another player and got injured. He bled profusely and left the court, having lost some of his teeth. On both of these occasions, the players weren't wearing a mouthguard.
You'll find many star players like LeBron James, Black Griffin, Stephen Curry, and almost all NBA players now wear a mouthguard while playing.
Therefore, much as you don't need to wear a mouthguard, it's essential, as you can see. Avoid waiting until the day you suffer an injury to learn of its importance. We recommend you wear the best basketball mouthguards while playing to enhance your mouth safety.
Our Top Pick
The mouthguards mentioned above will provide the comfort and protection you need. But if we had to choose one, it'd be the Shock Doctor Gel Max.
This device meets national and state regulations with its outer frame for increased protection. It's also built with a high-impact technology consisting of an airflow breathing channel with the greatest floor capacity of all lip guards.
What's more, it's got integral bite pads that will relax your jaw, ensuring your teeth don't block the breathing channel.
It's also easy to use and will serve you.
These and other features make the Shock Doctor Gel Max our top pick. Besides the value it provides, it's also easy to use and long-lasting.
Like it or not, your mouth is likely to come into contact with other players at some point during a basketball game. A good mouthguard protects your teeth, highly reducing your vulnerability to dental injuries, but it does more. It fits well, is durable, is not uncomfortable, and you can breathe and talk while wearing it. As a result, you'll feel more confident and able to focus on the game.
Whatever level you're playing at - high school team or professional, you're well on the right track with any of the items on our list of best basketball mouthguards. Begin your journey to find the best high-quality basketball mouthguards.