Find out the criteria for choosing a mouthguard, what kinds of mouthguards are there and how to weld a mouthguard so that it perfectly matches the structure of your teeth. The mouthguard is an obligatory attribute of a fighter in any kind of martial arts. This non-tricky piece of equipment is capable of absorbing about 40 percent of the force of impacts and thus provides good protection for the teeth. If an athlete does not have a mouthguard, then he will simply not be allowed to fight. This is due to the three main properties of this piece of equipment:
- Protects teeth from chips that can get into the larynx and damage it.
- Protects the mouth from wounds and cuts.
- It absorbs part of the impact force that goes to the temporal region of the head from the jaw.
It should be noted that the mouth guard is used not only in martial arts, but also in some other sports disciplines, for example, alpine skiing, hockey.
What types of mouthguards are there for boxing and martial arts?
In total, there are two types of mouth guards: one-sided (single-jaw) and two-sided (two-jaw). The most popular among athletes is the first type. This is due to its fairly high efficiency (absorbs about 40 percent of the impact force), and also provides good air flow.
A double-jaw splint is able to provide maximum protection for the teeth, but at the same time it makes breathing much more difficult. The air hole in its structure is small and the athlete literally suffocates during the fight. Oxygen deficiency has an extremely negative effect on the actions of the fighter.
Thus, the double-sided mouthguard is suitable for young athletes and girls involved in martial arts. High-level fighters always use single-jaw guards exclusively. This applies not only to professional boxing, but also to other types of martial arts.
How to choose the right mouthguard?
We will divide the answer to the question of how to choose and cook mouthguards for boxing and martial arts into two parts. The first selection criterion is the quality of this type of ammunition. In total, three types of mouth guards can be distinguished in accordance with this factor:
- Thermocap (thermoplastic).
- Individual (professional).
The first type is the cheapest and this is the only advantage of cast caps. First, when you use it, you will not be able to fit it to the shape of your jaw. Secondly, they practically do not differ from each other, and even at the stage of selection it will be difficult to find the one that suits you. You should not count on the high protective properties of this type of equipment. Dissection of the lips and chipped teeth can be avoided when using it, but it does not soften the blow.
The second type of cap is thermoplastic and in many respects they surpass cast ones. You can easily adjust them to fit your jaw and bite. The most expensive models have a multi-layer construction, which allows for more effective shock absorption. We also note the reliable fixation of the jaw.
The most expensive mouthguards are professional. They are made according to individual casts of the person and the bite of the athlete. It is quite obvious that this particular type of ammunition is capable of providing maximum protection. Professional mouthguards have the maximum ability to absorb the blows of the opponent.
In case of serious financial problems, you can, in principle, make a mouthguard yourself. To do this, you need boiling water, self-hardening material, and a spoon. Often such mouthguards are superior in quality to cast ones, but inferior to the other two types. However, homemade accessories also have disadvantages, for example, you can ruin the bite. In addition, problems may arise at the stage of material search.
The result can be argued.That novice fighters should opt for thermocaps. Of course, a custom-made professional mouthguard is an excellent choice. However, its cost is high, and only famous athletes can afford such an accessory.
Speaking about how to choose and cook a mouthguard for boxing and martial arts, it is necessary to note another important factor - the material of the accessory. Most often, three types of raw materials are used for the production of caps:
- Elastic polymer (thermoplastic) - it is he who is the most common, since it has sufficient strength and flexibility, and also after heating it easily takes the required shape.
- Gel - due to its low strength, it is not the best choice. Since the gel mouthguards are very soft, they are very easy to bite through during a fight. Sometimes the gel is used as an additional material in the manufacture of caps.
- Rubber - rarely used, but such models can be found on sale. They are harder in comparison with thermoplastic and transmit a harder blow to the teeth with gums.
Today manufacturers are actively experimenting and trying to improve their product. For example, some trays are flavored or special accessories are produced for people with briquettes. There are mouthguards with straps used in hockey and football. They are attached to the helmet, and even if the accessory flew out, it stays in place and you don't have to look for it.
We answered the first part of the question, how to choose and cook a mouth guard for boxing and martial arts. Based on all that has been said, the main characteristics of an ideal mouthguard can be distinguished:
- Holds securely on the teeth.
- Does not interfere with the natural bite.
- It is practically not felt in the mouth.
- Does not cause gag reflex and discomfort.
- Does not interfere with conversation and does not obstruct breathing.
- Ideal thickness.
- Has no unpleasant odor.
One of the important criteria for novice fighters is the cost of the mouthguard. It should be recognized. That the price range for this accessory is quite large:
- One-sided silicone mouthguard can be purchased for about 400 rubles. She is able to protect her teeth well, but you should not expect more.
- An accessory made of two-component materials will cost you about two thousand rubles. These mouthguards are characterized by higher protection rates.
- Professional accessories cost more than 3.5 thousand rubles.
It is quite obvious that when purchasing any product, you want to get the most out of its use. Speaking of mouth guards, the level of training of the fighter should be the determining factor. A molded accessory may be enough for novice athletes. Experienced athletes should focus on thermoplastic mouth guards for training sessions and during performances at tournaments. It is quite obvious that professionals choose the maximum comfort and level of protection that only individual accessories can provide.
Why and how to cook a mouthpiece correctly?
It's time to answer the second part of the question, how to choose and cook a mouth guard for boxing and martial arts? By purchasing a mouthguard, you get a product that has practically no shape of the average size. The only exceptions are children's accessories. In order for the mouthguard to be used and to obtain a reliable element of the fighter's equipment, it must be welded.
Only then will the mouthguard take on an individual shape that best suits the size of your jaw and bite. The cooking procedure is carried out as follows:
- Dip the mouth guard into boiling water for the length of time specified by the manufacturer. Most often, 25 or 30 seconds is sufficient.
- Take out the accessory and refrigerate it a little to avoid scalding your mouth and gums.
- Bite the mouthpiece with your teeth, holding it with your hands if necessary.
- After 3-5 minutes, take it out and put it in cold water.
After the completion of the procedure, the mouthguard should correspond to the anatomical features of the athlete's jaw and sit on the teeth as comfortably as possible. If this does not happen, then the procedure must be repeated again. It should be said that children can also use adult mouth guards. However, you should first trim its edges so as not to cause a gag reflex. As you can see for yourself, the mouthguard cooking procedure has no serious difficulties.
Rating of the best caps for martial arts in different price segments
Based on our practical experience, we decided to compile our own rating of these important accessories for each fighter. Just want to warn you - do not use mouthguards from the Adidas company. Oddly enough, but this well-known and one of the oldest manufacturers of goods for athletes has not yet been able to create good protective devices for teeth.
Let's start our review with the budget segment, where you can also find quite good models.
- Ray sport - thermoplastic mouthguard made of silicone. Its average cost is about 200 rubles. Of the advantages, we note the ability to take an individual shape well. There is, in fact, only one drawback - it is difficult to find on sale. So far we have seen this model in only one store.
- Excalibur 1566 - has a predetermined shape and is suitable for training. The cost is 300 rubles. Among the advantages, we note the convenience and softness, and the presence of a given shape is a significant disadvantage of the model.
- Everlast single jaw - the cost is about 350 rubles. After cooking, it takes the required shape, which is the undoubted advantage of the model.
These mouthguards are suitable for experienced fighters:
- Flamma Iceman 2.0 - double-jawed gel accessory, which after boiling takes the required shape. The average cost will be 800 rubles. Advantages include the good quality of the material and the presence of additional acrylic pads that improve shock absorption. In principle, there is only one drawback - the material and if the mouthguard were made of thermoplastic, its rating would be much higher.
- Venum challenger - the cost is about 1000 rubles. Let's start with the only drawback, namely the lack of thermoplasticity. This model has more advantages: although it is two-jawed, it practically does not hinder breathing, an excellent combination of materials dramatically increases its protective properties, and also due to its white color, bleeding can be easily detected.
- Venum predator - stylish mouthguard costing over 1600 rubles. It has no drawbacks, except for the dark color, which does not allow quick detection of bleeding. As it has a special design to avoid breathing difficulties, it has a high degree of protection. During its development, the manufacturer involved well-known professional boxers.
- Everlast EverShield 2 - thermoplastic accessory made from quality materials. Its cost is about 1100 rubles. If the mouthguard design is not important to you, then this model has no drawbacks. Among the advantages, we note high thermoplasticity, the ability to distribute the impact force well. This is a high-quality professional model that can be recommended for purchase.
Tips for choosing a mouth guard for boxing and martial arts in the following video: