I've just started sparring in muay thai, and yesterday nearly had a lower tooth make a break for it (yay for permanent retainers!). I have a boil-and-bite mouth guard, but I also have the world's most Ridiculous Gag Reflex [patent pending] (I've had specialist dentists with 35+ years under their belts tell me it was the worse they've ever encountered). I also have a rather small mouth, so the adult ones just don't work for me; I've tried and tried, but cannot get it all the way over my back teeth without gagging within a few seconds. And the youth ones aren't long enough to make me feel like my teeth would survive an unblocked punch or kick.

So, suggestions? I've read on other threads about having a custom guard made by my dentist, and will be talking with her about that. But if there's another way to do this, or maybe a type/brand of guard that really works with those of us with Ridiculous Gag Reflexes, please share!

  • 3
    Is trimming the adult size guard an option, I had to do that in my teens. Trial and error trim the back until it fit OK and was not making me gag. Was a lot of boil and biting going on..
    – jezr
    Apr 28, 2015 at 23:22
  • I tried that with one, but it, well, didn't go well; the ends were jagged and I was concerned I had compromised the integrity of it enough that it was pretty useless. Is there a good/bad way to trim it? Maybe get it super hot so that it's less likely to be trashed?
    – Valkyrie
    Apr 29, 2015 at 10:16
  • Have you had someone (show)[youtube.com/watch?v=Nm1CUIQWO68] you how to do it? Maybe you're not fitting it correctly. A mouth guard only protects you because it forces you to keep your teeth shut, so you don't need a lot of the end bits, mainly the part where you bite down. It's the end bits that gag you. Apr 29, 2015 at 11:57
  • I trim mine down prior to boiling. That takes away most of the sharp edges. As @The Wudang Kid says, it will still offer protection even if you trim it some. Alternatively, get it molded by your dentist.
    – Nix
    Apr 29, 2015 at 14:07
  • learn to block better.
    – ruckus
    Apr 29, 2015 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


Assuming that you cannot train yourself out of the Ridiculous Gag Reflex [patent pending]1, you could get a dentist to make your a custom made mouth guard. It might well be expensive but probably cheaper than having your teeth replaced. You may as well consider using sparing helmets as they might help.

1. I have no idea how you would even go about doing that...


Another thing you can do if you have a small mouth is to go the children/teen area of a large box sporting good store. They will have quite a few different sized mouthguards in various configurations for different aged athletes.

As a personal recommendation, I really like the Shock Doctor brand mouthguards. They do have one model available in both youth and adult sizes that tapers down very low at the back, this might help with the RGR that you have.

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