Training Gear & Supplies

Value of your Mouth

Once upon a time, a mouth guard was just a mouth guard.  Or so it seemed.  I certainly didn’t know much about the industry when I was 10 years old and participating in my first sparring match ever.  My mom bought me a clear mouth guard, and we followed the instructions to form it to my teeth.

Now you can’t walk in to your local Martial Arts supply store, Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, or anywhere else without being slightly overwhelmed at the choice available.  From your basic mouth guards to high-end Shock Doctor, Under Armour, TapouT, Everlast, single or double tray, and all the colours known to man and then some.

But that’s not all!  You can get custom graphics on your mouth guard from many suppliers, and the bonus is they’re custom moulded to your teeth.  Granted, the process takes much longer, but having a properly fitted mouth guard can make all the difference in your training.

Some terminology explanations:

-Single mouth guard: it consists of a single tray meant to be moulded to your upper teeth

-Double mouth guard: it consists of one piece with two trays, one for upper and one for lower teeth.

-Boil and bite: 99% of mouth guards require hot water to be moulded to your teeth.  Most mouth guards come with instructions on how to do this.

-Junior/Youth and Senior/Adult: how mouth guards are sized, generally by age range.  The Senior size is usually for those 13 years and older, and the Junior for those under 13 years or for those with an extremely small jaw.

-Custom moulds: a mould is created using a PVS putty or something similar to get an exact imprint of your gums and teeth.  Typically both upper and lower sets are moulded for the best fit.

Now, every fancy mouth guard out there has its own selling feature, for example:

-TapouT offers a sizeable dental warranty should something happen to your teeth while you’re wearing their product.  I believe there is quite a bit of fine print involved with that.  From what I’ve seen, all of their mouth guards come in a twin-pack, meaning you get two single-tray mouth guards.  Unfortunately they don’t seem to be sold with a case included.

-Shock Doctor has a few different varieties available, including a mouth guard for those with braces.  This is handy, because it’s virtually impossible to get a decent fit when you’ve got braces.  This is something I know about personally.  Then there are the Gel-Max which has an exo-skeletal frame and a $10,000 dental warranty; and the Power Ultra with a $12,500 dental warranty, shock transfer core and a Mandibular Orthopaedic Repositioning Appliance (MORA) system that may increase strength and athletic performance.

-Under Armour “ArmourBite” provides “Power Wedges” which positions your jaw forward to improve strength, speed and reaction time.  As well, they reduce your body’s production of cortisol, which in excess can cause fatigue, stress, and a loss of concentration.

I’ve personally used multiple mouth guards as an adult, some I liked, others I did not.  My favourites so far have been the Shock Doctor Gel-Max and of course my dentist-moulded mouth guard with custom graphics.

You’re looking at $25.00 to start for a decent mouth guard, and they can get quite expensive.  If memory serves, some of them can be up to $70.00, plus all required taxes.  A custom mouth guard will cost more; I think you would be lucky to find one under $150.00.  It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend on your personal safety, but a Gel-Max isn’t an expensive investment and reduce your chances of concussions.

Take your safety into your own hands, or mouth rather, and click here to browse Bushido’s selection of mouth guards.

–The Prototype’s Alter Ego.

We would like to thank Miles of Smiles for their help with giving us their knowledgeable information and resources. For your custom fit mouth guards please be sure to check them out at