Should I wear a mouth guard / gum-shield for sparring?
Question received from Tom
Reply from Cornelius Carr
Thank you for your Sneak Punch question about mouth guards.
Without a doubt, yes, you should always wear a mouth guard during sparring. Even when sparring lightly, some hard shots can still get to their target. It only takes one misjudgement of distance by either party, to end up with a hard knock.
Wearing a mouth guard prevents your teeth cutting the inside of your lips when you get hit. It also gives you something to bite down on, in order to keep your mouth closed. This is crucial because an open mouth during a fight is very dangerous. Receiving a punch to the lower jaw with an open mouth can cause serious jaw damage.
The next question is which mouth guard to choose? There are a number of different off-the-shelf products on the market, most of which are fitted at home by the wearer. This is very simple and involves using boiling water to soften the mould, then fitting it to your mouth shape. Full instructions are available with most products, but I am going to show this process on a video in the near future, so watch this space…. Also I will be reviewing some of the latest products on the market.
For regular training and sparring, I would always recommend going to your dentist for a properly custom made fitted mouth guard – it is well worth the money.
Some people find wearing a mouth guard quite alien (which is not surprising), as it can take a bit of getting used to. So before you get in the ring, get used to wearing the mouthguard at home and during training sessions, shadow boxing, circuits etc. You don’t want to be distracted in the ring.
I hope this helps and thanks again for the question.
Best wishes and good luck with your training!
former BBBofC British Super-Middleweight & WBF World Middleweight Champion