Brazilian Jiujitsu is an excellent martial art that is great for self-defense, but can you do BJJ with braces? I decided to find out.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends anyone with braces to wear a mouthguard whenever doing a sport, this includes Brazilian Jiujitsu. You can do BJJ with braces but always be very careful and always wear your mouthguard to class, and let your partner know you have braces.
Many people in my gym wear braces and still do BJJ, and one of my good friends has braces and even does Muay Thai! Read more about it here.
You can see the orthodontists (dentists) mouthguard recommendations in this link, but it’s important to know the risk of training with braces and why wearing a mouthguard is so important.
If you’re interested in getting the best mouthguard money can buy check out the OPRO Power-Fit Mouthguard from Amazon, why risk your beautiful smile with a cheap mouthguard?
Why You Can Do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu With Braces
I understand where you are coming from wondering if you can do BJJ with braces, but really most of your time in BJJ will be spent drilling techniques with a partner, especially as a beginner.
Never in a typical BJJ class will having braces make a difference, and you can choose when and if you want to spar so you can get the full benefits of the sport without damaging your expensive braces!
However, if you have braces always wear a mouthguard in BJJ. This includes whenever you are drilling techniques or sparring as the random nature of BJJ does mean accidents can and will happen, so always be prepared.
As BJJ sparring can be very chaotic, it’s smart to tell your partner you have braces and have “flow rolls”, which is when you spar in BJJ with complete technique and not use much if any power. This reduces the risk of an injury happening as both you and your partner’s movements will be less explosive reducing the risk of injury to both of you.
However, it is still important to know the potential risks you have engaging in a combat sport with braces.
Risks Of Doing BJJ With Braces
Although BJJ is less risky than a striking sport like Muay Thai or Boxing, as you don’t get punches and kicks aimed at your head, you should still be aware of the potential injuries that can happen.
Martial Art Braces Injuries
- Dental Avulsion: This fancy word means your teeth are knocked out! This isn’t a break but more so the punch dislocated your teeth from the socket! You don’t need me to tell you how bad this injury is with braces.
- Fractures: Fractures could include broken or damaged teeth with injuries to the jaw
- Abrasions & Lacerations: If you’re hit hard enough your teeth might scratch or bite the areas of the mouth like the lips and cheek. Your braces will make these cuts worse as they are in the mouth.
It pays to be careful whenever drilling/sparring with braces even with the correct mouthguard, as your wire can loosen and the brackets supporting the brace can break.
One mouthguard that is specifically designed for people with braces by orthodontists (dentists) is the Shock Doctor Double Braces Mouthguard which you can get for a fantastic price on Amazon here.
Depending on where you live, braces are very expensive with the average cost in the USA being $3000-$7000! So if you need to return to your dentist because of a BJJ related injury that wouldn’t be fun, but you shouldn’t worry as flow rolling will reduce the risk of damaging your braces.
How To Prevent Injuries In BJJ With Braces
If you have braces you need to take more precautions when training BJJ. The Orthodontic mouthguard (Shock Doctor) will be your best friend. This is why many fighters use it.
3 Reasons You Should Wear A Mouthguard When Doing BJJ
Wearing A Mouthguard Protects Your Teeth
A mouthguard prevents the bottom row of teeth from clashing to the top when you get hit protecting your teeth from breaking. This could happen in BJJ if someone accidentally knees you in the face as you shoot for a takedown. A mouthguard also protects the lips and gums.
Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth By Stabilising Your Jaw
A mouthguard is designed to be bit on which stabilizes your jaw and reduces the risk of jaw fractures, if an accident does happen. No one likes their teeth getting dislocated, so make sure you bite down when you feel an incoming collision!
Mouthguards Reduce Concussions
Custom mouthguards have been proven to reduce the risk of concussion in all sports, check out the study here. The studies are far from conclusive but it’s better not to take the risk right?
However, you cannot get just any mouthguard with braces it must be an orthodontic mouthguard. This mouthguard is made of a higher grade of material than a traditional mouthguard that you just boil in water.
They are specifically designed to work with your braces as they sit on top of the brackets and keep both the upper and lower teeth protected from the line of fire. The material also protects your lips from being pushed into the brackets via the impact of collisions that often happen in BJJ.
Now, I recommend you ask your dentist for a specifically designed orthodontic mouthguard that fits your braces or buy a custom-fitted mouthguard for a fantastic price on Amazon here.
If that’s out of your price range I highly recommend the fantastic Shock Doctor that was made together with the American Association of Orthodontists specifically for people with braces. You can get it for an amazing price right from Amazon here with sizes for both children and adults.
If you want to know more about mouthguards in general and other reasons why it’s one of the most important pieces of equipment you have, check out my recommend mouthguard page here.
Check out a review from a Boxer who bought the Shock Doctor Double Braces Mouthguard and likes it a lot.
Should You Wear A Cup In BJJ?
Despite being outlawed in most BJJ competitions you should still wear a cup to BJJ, to protect your genitalia and it prevents putting your genitalia on other people during sparring. Yes, It might be uncomfortable but the possible injuries you can suffer without it make wearing it worthwhile.
I have the first-hand experience of someone accidentally kneeing me in the crown jewels during rolling and it is not fun! Luckily I was wearing my cup as I cannot imagine the pain or possible injury I would have suffered if I wasn’t wearing it!
BJJ by nature will land you in very strange positions, and when people try to pass your guard or knee slide this leaves your genitals wide open to getting hit.
Wearing a cup gives a barrier to your opponent and your junk so it stops any awkward positions where you are a little too close to comfort, feeling someones else bits if they don’t have a cup is also not very enjoyable for most people.
You do not have to wear one, as it’s up to personal preference. But the issue with some groin guards is they are not comfortable all the time and need to be constantly adjusted. For a comfortable cup, I highly recommend this Shock Doctor Cup which I own and use. It comes in adult and boy sizes for a great price on Amazon.
I wear it all the time in Wrestling, BJJ and Muay Thai and never leave for the gym without it on. If you want to see my other recommendations for groin guards then check out my page here.
If you really don’t like wearing a cup, you can always take it off no one is forcing you to wear it, and it can even hurt your partner!
You can hurt your teammate if you’re using a cup made of steel like what Thai boxers wear to protect against leg kicks. This usually happens when you take someone’s back, although it is not a problem if you engage in conversation with your partner and complain they are hurting you, so you can move position and reset.