The Golden State Warriors have had the deadliest shot in NBA history on their roster since 2009. That shot belongs to Steph Curry, who is renowned for his ability to create space, and pull up on the break and strike from downtown. The Davidson product continues to be a force from beyond the arc, but he also has one strange habit. He is always chewing his mouthguard! We’re here to find out why does Steph Curry chew his mouthguard? 

A basketball mouthguard is a protective piece of equipment that is custom-made for basketball players. These mouthguards are clear and typically 3mm thick to give the player enough protection from chipped teeth, loose teeth, tongue injuries, and even concussions. They are sleek in design to maximize comfort and allow players to wear them without disrupting their game. Aside from shoes, a basketball mouthguard is the most important piece of equipment a player can wear during games and practice. 

It’s rumored that Steph Curry goes through at least 12 basketball mouthpieces a season! Why does he chew his mouthguard? There is no definitive answer, but here are some educated guesses. 

The first reason that Steph Curry chews his mouthguard is that it’s a force of habit. Basketball is a game of memory. These players take millions of practice shots to become the most accurate shooters in history. Curry can easily shoot over a thousand practice shots a day. He does this during practice, warm-ups, and then throughout the game. At some point, he began to chew his mouthguard during this process, and it’s since become part of his basketball habits. Shoot a hundred shots, chew mouthguard, repeat. It’s soothing to stay in habit, and chewing his mouthguard is clearly part of Curry’s basketball tendencies. 

Another potential reason that Curry chews his basketball mouthguard is that it is a stress relief outlet. Curry plays on the highest stage of basketball in front of millions of fans on TV. Not only does he do this, but he’s one of the greatest players to ever live and he continues to take his team deep into the playoffs including a couple of championships under his belt. Every one of Curry’s shots is put under a microscope, and in the last few year’s he’s been the only consistent player on the Warriors. Stress comes with the territory. Basketball mouthpieces are chewy and can take a lot of punishment from teeth. People often grind their teeth in their sleep due to stress and anxiety, so Curry is probably subconsciously chewing his mouthguard as it makes him feel better relieving in-game stress from a bad call or missed shot. 

No one will ever know for sure why Steph Curry chews his mouthguard, but these are our best guesses. A combination of habit and stress makes the 3mm clear mouthguard that he wears part of who he is. His mouthguard has become synonymous with his big shots. One thing is certain, Curry will continue to hit shot after shot until he retires while chewing his mouthguard.