Why mouthguards matter
in Basketball

When it comes to the use of mouthguards, basketball is a sport that has flown under the radar for quite some time.

Since it’s not a contact sport, do players even need to wear mouthguards? The answer: yes.

Just under


of university and college basketball players in one study sustained at least one dental injury in a single season.

There is over an


incident response rate for non-mouthguard mandated sports compared to under 3% for sports where they are required.



of basketball players chose to wear a mouthguard although 17% experienced dental trauma according to one study.

Which Makura mouthguard is best for Basketball?

Unfortunately the answer to this question isn’t always straight forward because, at the end of the day, the right mouthguard is the one that fits you best. That being said, there are some characteristics you should look out for when choosing a basketball mouthguard.


Correct Fit

A properly fitted mouthguard keeps wearers both comfortable and safe. It should remain securely in place (no clenching required to hold it) even if you jostle it a bit with your tongue, and it shouldn’t make you gag, prevent you from speaking, or inhibit breathing in any way.



All Makura mouthguards are fully CE certified and have achieved Level 2 and Level 3 Impact Resistance. Our BOIL & BITE™ TEPHRA MAX™ is Level 3 Impact Resistant, the highest level achievable for mouth-adapted mouthguards. Our braces compatible LITHOS™ is Level 2 Impact Resistant, the highest attainable for ready-made mouthguards.



Look for attributes like gel-based and flexible liners as well as shock absorbing outers that are suited to the game you play and how you play it. If you have braces, make sure you choose a braces-compatible mouthguard to keep both you and your braces safe from harm.

A brief history of mouthguards in Basketball


Mouthguards have been worn by boxers since the early twentieth century. In basketball, however, they're still a new and emerging trend. The National BasketbaII Association (NBA) hasn't mandated them for its players, though it has established guidelines for those who choose to wear mouthguards. They must be a solid colour-white, black, clear, or a team's primary colour – and can't have any logos except the team logo. Over the last decade in particular, mouthguards have become more prominent thanks to top players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, Alan Anderson, and Tim Hardaway Jr.

Other organizations like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have followed suit, not requiring the use of mouthguards, but leaving it to the discretion of individual players and teams to determine their own policies.

There are practical concerns players have about mouthguards as well, especially surrounding on-the-court communication. Challenges talking to his teammates throughout games weighed heavily on Amar'e Stoudemire's decision to stop wearing mouthguards. This is one of the reasons why the fit of your mouthguard is so important. If it fits well, it shouldn't impair your ability to carry on a conversation or communicate with other members of your team. If you have trouble speaking or breathing or if your mouthguard makes you gag, it's not the right fit.

Remember: whatever your sport – no matter your level or how often you play – a mouthguard is always the right move when it comes to protecting your mouth and teeth from contact related injuries.