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Originating in the USA with founders from Sweden, SISU (a Finnish concept) is one of the most thoroughly researched and technologically advanced mouthguards on the market. With a concept of less mouth guard and more protection, SISU guards really are state of the art.
Due to its unconventional nature, it is best to explain the SISU mouthguard in more detail. The SISU comes as a flat arc which is then to be boiled and bitten into shape in a similar manner to regular mouth guards. The difference, however, is the fit at the end of the boil and biting stage. SISU mouth guards much more accurately define the shape of the individual’s mouth and feel more like a professional fit. There are two types of mouthguard – the SISU Aero and the SISU Max mouthguard. The Aero is designed for lighter activities whereas the Max is designed for more intense sports like Jiu-Jitsu or Boxing. According to SISU, the mouth guard is over 50% stronger than your average mouth guard but due to the thermoplastic materials used to construct it, it is 305 thinner overall.
The SISU mouthguard requires moulding just like any other mouthguard you may have had before – by boiling and biting. The guard arrives in a flat, crescent shape which is moulded to the shape of the individual’s teeth. This makes it a lot tighter than other guards when it finally hardens into place. It requires a little effort in prying the guard out of your mouth, but it is this snug fit that is part of the guard’s protective qualities.
The SISU mouth guard doesn’t shrimp on the choice of colour. There are plenty of colours to choose from for those of you who are picky about that sort of thing. However, due to the nature of the moulding process and the tight, snug fit, the guard doesn’t have any fancy designs or lettering on it. It definitely has the feel of something ‘scientific’ rather than fashion orientated and the primary focus is on protection – as it should be.
Of course, as previously mentioned, the mouth guard is extremely thin and you can tell this as soon as it arrives and you open the box. However, as well as being extremely thin, the mouth guard is also dotted with small perforations all over. These perforations are said to be for dispersing shock across the entirety of the guard rather than on the specific spot it is struck. The little perforations also enable air to flow through them which is great for any cardio-intensive sport like jiu-jitsu.
The SISU mouthguard is a one of a kind mouth guard and as such, it isn’t going to feel the same as a regular guard. Due to its extreme thinness, the guard may feel strange inside your mouth initially. This is partially because we’re all used to bulky mouth guards and probably associate that bulkiness with protective qualities. So here, with the much thinner SISU mouthguard, there can be a psychological ‘getting used to it stage’ where you may feel like your mouth is not protected in its usual way.
One of the benefits of this guard is that you don’t need to keep taking it out and putting it back in again during training sessions. It is so thin that you can forget it is there and it is also possible to talk with the guard in and take a quick drink without removing it. The tightness of the guard is also a great feature because there is no need to be constantly biting down on it throughout your training session to make sure it stays in like some guards. Instead, it clips itself to your teeth and will remain there until you remove it.
The SISU Max mouthguard is available for around $34.99 in the US. Now, of course, this is a rather expensive mouth guard, especially when you can buy a regular guard for around £6. However, you would pay more for a custom, professional guard and this one is one of the highest quality ‘boil and bit’ guards on the market. If you’re looking for a mouth guard with minimal bulk and a feeling of not even wearing a mouth guard at all, then the price tag is worth it.
Overall, this mouthguard is an excellent addition to your training equipment and does a great job in protecting one of your most expensive assets – your teeth. The guard is very comfortable and provides excellent protection for a decent price.