Proformance Mouth Guards
Reviewed By: AJ Hoffman
July 25, 2011
Disclosure: This product was a comp from ProFormance Guards
No matter what sort of martial art you practice, whether or be jiu jitsu, kickboxing or MMA, a mouth guard is the one piece of equipment that we all need. For the less serious competitor there are easy options for a mouthguard. If you are going to the gym once a week for cardio-kickboxing, a $10 boil and bite from Academy will probably do the job just fine. That said, if you are competing in a more physical activity, especially MMA, the protection from a boil and bite probably just isn’t enough. This is where ProFormance Guards comes in. They design custom fitted mouth guards built to protect your grill under serious strain. I had been using a TapOut boil and bite that I got in a two pack for about $15. Most of the time it was serviceable, but there were also instances during training that the pressure being put on my jaw definitely had me concerned for my dental health.
|Features||ProFormance Guards represent leading-edge technology in custom protection. Each ProFormance Guard is produced by pressure-forming multiple layers, each shaped separately over a customized mold of the athlete’s teeth. With controlled thickness offering protection in areas where its needed most, ProFormance Guards also offer superb durability with a tight, comfortable fit. What’s more, with our pressure-laminated process, you can personalize your ProFormance Guard with thousands of color, logo, and label combinations.
|Quality||The process of getting your guard built starts off in a dentist’s office, which instantly makes you feel a little better than it would had they been headquartered in a strip mall. They have a dental assistant come in and have you bite into a tray filled with a pink, sticky substance that takes a mold of your teeth in about a minute. You are asked what kind of mouthpiece you need (They offer them in 4-6 mm thick for regular contact sports or 6-7 mm thick for heavy contact sports such as MMA or boxing). You also choose your colors and custom logo design. The entire process is really fast and painless. Then begins the wait to get your guard back. If you have a digitized logo it could take 10-14 days to get back. If you have a basic design with color and print, you could have your guard back in less than a week.
Once it’s ready you go in to the office to make sure it is properly fitted. Mine had a little extra material in the back, and scraped on the back of my mouth. I explained what was going on with it, and they came back with it 3 minutes later with the excess material removed. The guard itself is big, bigger than what I was used to with my TapOut guards. It fits so perfectly over your teeth, though, that it is actually easier to breathe and talk than it was in my old guard. It is a different feeling, mostly because it covers more of your mouth than a boil and bite. It is a little uncomfortable when I first put it on before a competition, but once I actually got rolling in it I hardly noticed it was there. The guard is so well fitted to your teeth that you literally have to reach your fingers into the back of your mouth and peel it off. This would ensure that you don’t lose it if you are in a fight and leave yourself open to take some damage to your teeth.
|Value||The value of the product is obviously in the eye of the beholder. The question in this instance becomes “How important are my teeth to me?”. For me the answer is simple. VERY.
The price for the guards seems steep at first look, especially on a fighter’s budget. A basic guard goes for $104.99 and can be customized for $20 more. The thicker guards for heavy contact sports is $184.99 and can be customized with a logo and up to 3 colors. (Youth guards are also available for kids up to age 13 for $74.99). The dentist will quickly remind you what it costs to fix a broken tooth, and suddenly it seems a lot smarter to invest in the protection rather than repair.
For a BJJ practitioner I would recommend the basic guard, and save yourself a few bucks. If you train in Muay Thai or plan on fighting MMA, I would go with the Elite version and throw out the extra few bucks. The guard also comes with a case, which you don’t get with your average boil and bite. Like I mentioned earlier, think about the one piece of equipment you use every time you train. When you consider that this piece of equipment could last you for years, it seems like a wise investment, despite the initial sticker shock.
|Summary||Again, it all depends on how important your teeth are to you. This product is worlds beyond what you can buy at your local sporting goods store. I think when you consider how much you will be using this product, it is worth going through the process and paying the price to get it done. The process is done very professionally and it feels great to know that your ProFormance Guard is customized exactly how you want it and designed to protect you specifically.|
Here are some samples of their work (click to view larger image). You can view more on their site or their Facebook Page.