In this article, I’ll analyze various mouthguards that protect your teeth from any contact you might experience while playing basketball.
I’ve spent more than twenty years playing basketball. I have also used various mouthguards in that time. Conducting extensive research alongside that first-hand experience gave me the information I needed to choose the best mouth protection on the market.
The Sporting Smiles Custom gets my nod for the best basketball mouthguard because it’s custom made, has an unmatched fit, manageable size, and premium comfort.
Where most mouthguards excel in one area, the Sporting Smiles model is well-rounded. The clear design is extremely intuitive, while the custom fit makes it comfortable. The tough, latex-free material is strong and comes backed by a thick cushioning base for maximum impact protection.
If you want to learn more about the guard, or if you’re curious to explore other top models, read on to the following sections.
Who Should Get This
As this report shows, basketball has more dental injuries than any other contact sport. That’s why so many dental professionals recommend that serious players invest in a mouthguard. That means those in casual rec-leagues all the way to professionals can make use of the items.
If you’re more a casual shoot around type, or if you mostly practice on your own, a mouth guard is unlikely needed. However, if you play basketball around others in any way, shape, or form, you should get one. There’s no price you can put on your long-term dental health.
Top Basketball Mouthguards: Our Picks
Here, I will review all of the best mouthguards for basketball and explain where each one specifically excels.
1. Sporting Smiles Custom Sports Mouth Guards
- Best for: Custom
- Key Features: The exact 3mm mouthguard the pros in the NBA wear. Maximum protection paired with optimized comfort. Hand-crafted by a team of dental lab experts. Extremely durable. BPA and Latex free.
- Fit: Custom
- Material: EVA Material
- Weight: 0.02 Ounces (Editorial Note: This was just the mouthguard, not the packaging or case. Weigh your mouthguard to see if it’s any different.)
If you’re looking for the mouthguards the Pros and College athletes wear, this is it. Custom made and created from mouthguard experts, this basketball mouthguard from SportingSmiles is affordable, durable, and optimized for protection and comfort.
This mouthguard is the same your dentist would craft you but without the huge bill and dental visit. Superior protection from tooth, tongue and mouth injuries, this 3mm mouthguard is trimmed by hand for maximum comfort and clear communication for you on the court.
While the default for this mouthguard is crystal-clear, you can select any color to match your team’s colors or opt to have the mouthguard chew-resistant. This mouthguard from SportingSmiles is designed to protect you through every practice, scrimmage, and game throughout your season.
2. Hoopstar Mouth Guard
- Best for: Overall
- Key Features: Custom fit for different mouth sizes. BPA and Latex free. Thick cushioning base. Two per pack. Clear design. Tigh precision fitting material.
- Fit: Custom
- Material: Latex Free
- Weight: 1.86 ounces
If you want an affordable, lightweight mouthguard that does a little bit of everything, this model from Hoopstar delivers. It comes with a custom fit that makes it extremely comfortable to wear during a game. In addition, the form-fitting material is completely BPA and Latex free.
The other big reason this kicks off the list is the durability. The guard is incredibly tough in a way that keeps your teeth safe no matter how hard you get hit. The clear design is sturdy on its own, and it gets even better when backed by the thick base. You even get two in a pack.
The only real downside to this mouthguard is that it’s not incredibly durable. The cushion and strong materials will absolutely protect you in any collision, but you might have to replace this more quickly than you would other models. It doesn’t have any fun or flashy colors either.
3. OPRO Gold
- Best for: Durability
- Key Features: Tough, robust build. Comfortable with a secure fit. Short fitting process. High dental warranty. Breathable.
- Fit: Cradle
- Warranty: $15,000
- Weight: 2.82 ounces
The OPRO Gold is a fantastic mouthguard for basketball due to its inherent toughness. The model is more than qualified to protect your teeth in the event of a collision. Specially designed for combat sports, it will keep you safe if you catch an elbow or ball to the face.
Something else players will like is how easy the Gold is to mold to your mouth. Not only is the custom fit comfortable, but the entire fitting process takes less than three minutes. That means you can get it ready right away. It comes with an impressive $15,000 dental warranty.
The biggest issue with this model is that it’s larger than many others. While it’s by no means uncomfortable, it’s still a little bit bulkier than some people who use a lot of mouth guards may like. If you want smaller options, this probably isn’t the right fit. If you want power, it excels.
4. Shock Doctor Gel
- Best for: Flavor
- Key Features: Custom gel-fit liner technology. Strong exoskeletal shock frame. Full mouth protection. Different flavor options. Ample colors.
- Fit: Custom
- Warranty: $35,000
- Weight: 2.24 ounces
The Shock Doctor Gel is a powerful mouthguard that has the ability to be used in many different situations. Anywhere you need to protect your teeth, be it out on the playground or in the gym, you’ll get amazing, well-rounded protection time and time again. It’s also sturdy and breathable.
The custom gel-fit liner is incredible. On top of that, the colorful design comes in a wide range of flavors that all taste great. That trait increases the mouthguard’s usability and makes it more fun to use. Add on the triple-layer design and you have a truly unique form of reliable protection.
As great as this mouthguard is on the court, it doesn’t have the cleanest molding process on the market. Know that it might take you a few tries to achieve the fit you want. It’s a little on the bigger side as well, which makes it tricky for those with smaller mouths.
5. Under Armour SC30
- Best for: Comfort
- Key Features: High quality materials. Dual layer design for advanced protection. Great flavor. Easy to use gel-fit liner.
- Fit: Custom gel
- Warranty: $10,000
- Weight: 7.51 ounces
No NBA player is more synonymous with mouthguards than Steph Curry. So it makes sense that his model from Under Armour is one of the best money can buy. It comes with a special dual-layer design for better protection, a $10,000 dental warranty, and an incredibly low profile.
The biggest reason this makes my list is its comfort. The gel-fit liner is easy to use and perfectly forms across both your teeth and gums. That creates a snug fit that ensures you can take a hit in the event of a crash or collision during a game. The lemonade flavor works as well.
The only con to this model is the thicker construction. It’s a big part of the comfort, but it can take a little bit of time to get used. If you do put in the time, however, you’ll be rewarded with a durable mouthguard that will stick around for a long, long time.
6. SISU Aero
- Best for: Lightweight
- Key Features: Premium dental warranty. Small, comfortable design. Wide bite pad. Rounded edges for premium comfort. Easy to re-mold.
- Fit: Custom
- Material: Plastic
- Thickness: 1.6mm
Many exceptional mouthguards, for all their traits, are bulky or thick to offset impacts. The SISU Aero bucks that trend by providing a lot of strength in a largely unobstructive model. This guard, which comes with a wide bite pad, delivers a perfect fit while keeping an extremely slim design.
This is one of the thinnest mouthguards on the market, making it great for people who don’t want to notice their gear during a game. It’s also comfortable as a result of the special rounded edges and can be quickly re-molded if needed with just a bit of warm or hot water.
However, its best feature comes with some downsides. The biggest is that it doesn’t offer the same shock absorption as you see in other, larger guards. That can put some people off, but if you value simplicity it’s hard to find something better than the Aero.
7. Redline Molded Mouthguard
- Best for: Style
- Key Features: One-size-fits-all design. Safe, BPA and latex free materials. Dual-layer design. Many colors and designs. Included carrying case.
- Fit: Custom
- Material: Plastic, gel
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
Mouthguards are all about protection, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look nice. The Redline Molded Mouthguard is a bright, eye-catching model that comes in a range of fun colors. Each one looks great and, backed by premium protection, gives you peace of mind on the court.
The one-size-fits-all design takes minutes to set up and delivers a perfect mold for any player, child or adult. On top of that, the extremely strong materials used in the construction are BPA and latex free. Add on the strong refund policy and you get something perfect for all situations.
Just note it’s not the thickest mouthguard on the market. While that’s good on a few levels, it means that you aren’t getting the same full impact protection you’ll find with bulkier options. If you play in the paint, you may want something a little larger.
Best Basketball Mouthguards: What to Look For
Paying attention to the characteristics in this section will help you discover the best mouthguard for your playstyle.
Ventilation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing mouthguards, but basketball is a taxing sport. You need to get plenty of air while running around. That’s why you should invest in a mouthguard with good breathability that promotes proper air flow.
As a rule, the more holes the better. However, it’s not that cut and dry. You want something that gets you air, but you don’t want to compromise structure or durability. Get something that can take a hit. Just make sure you can breathe properly while doing so.
Another commonly overlooked mouthguard aspect is communication. Basketball is a talking game. You’re constantly calling for screens, passes, or defensive assignments. Many mouthguards, while strong and functional, get in your way and don’t let you properly speak.
As with breathability, this is all about balance. You need a guard that’s big enough to keep your teeth safe, but you never want to go so big that you can’t call out at key times. Always ensure you’re able to talk with the guard before making the final purchase.
Every mouthguard on the market comes with a specific fit. Though there are plenty of sizes, it’s always better to get one with a custom fit when possible. Form-fitting options tend to be much better than their static counterparts in terms of both comfort and longevity.
Custom fit mouthguards, as they shape to your specific mouth, feel better than other options. Not only that, but having the same fit every time prevents a lot of wear and tear. That’s because non-fitted guards tend to stretch or crack over time. A tight fit is a much better investment.
Durability and Protection
No matter what your mouthguard is made of or how well it fits, it first needs to protect your teeth. Durability is the most important characteristic to look at when getting a new model. Find guards with strong construction as well as models that have plenty of cushion or impact protection.
Even if you know which mouthguard you want, you may have some additional questions. This section answers some of the biggest.
Are Mouth Guards Necessary for Basketball?
No. You don’t need a mouth guard to play the sport. However, a well-made one will go a long way towards preventing any accidents or injuries.
What Mouthguards Do NBA Players Use?
There are many mouthguards throughout the NBA, ranging from basic models you can find online to much more advanced options given to them by the organization.
What Mouthguard Does Steph Curry Use?
Steph Curry utilizes the MOGO M1 mouthpiece. It’s durable, colorful, and, in an interesting twist, flavored. That’s a big reason he chews on them all of the time.
What Mouthguard Does Lebron James Use?
Lebron uses a specially-made High-Performance Gladiator mouthguard. It’s a lightweight, strong, and breathable model the company made specially for him.
Useful Tips and Resources
Many high-end mouthguards come with some sort of dental insurance. While that’s definitely not needed, it’s a welcome option that adds a little peace of mind to the purchase. When getting a new guard, watch out for any such deals to get even more forms of protection.
I could spend all day talking about dental health in regard to basketball. However, rather than going over the different reasons why you need a mouthguard, I’ll let a dentist tell you why they’re so important.
In my opinion, no mouthguard helps you on the court like the Sporting Smiles Custom. The model simply goes above and beyond by delivering an incredibly streamlined design that’s both protective and comfortable. It has both an excellent cushioned base as well as a custom fit.