What You Need to Know About Over-The-Counter Anti-Snoring Devices Being Sold in Large Retail Stores
Snoring is usually harmless. Some people snore because they had a very tiring day in the office. Others do so because they lacked sleep the last several days. However, snoring can be a huge problem for others. That’s because they are unable to get a good night’s sleep since they’re constantly awakened by their own snoring. Worse, even their partners can’t sleep well due to the noise.
Those who have a snoring problem often go to large retail stores or drug stores to find a solution. They buy nasal strips, OTC throat sprays, pills, herbs and chinstraps. But do these work as well as stop snoring mouthpieces?
People who are bent on finding a snoring solution go for mandibular adjustment devices or MADs. If you try and look for them online, they’re widely available. But they’re not available at your local drug store or retail store because in the United States, these products are regulated and restricted for sale in brick and mortar establishments. Other countries are more fortunate, since they allow for OTC sale of such snoring devices.
The US FDA has classified MADs as class II medical products and this is why these MADs are not being sold in large retail stores. This agency believes that such snoring aids should only be prescribed and sold in medical clinics or by medical practitioners. That’s because they want to make sure that people who suffer from sleep apnea should seek professional advice instead of just buying snoring mouthguards over the counter.
Are Online Shops Selling Snoring Mouthguards Legit?
Well, there are two kinds of online shops that sell snoring devices on the Internet: those who are operating legally and those who aren’t. You see, legal manufacturers of snoring mouthguards take advantage of the FDA’s guidelines as stated in Exemptions from Adequate Directions for Use. This particular exemption entails having to require buyers to fill out a questionnaire to determine their health status prior to ordering. Buyers can only purchase the device if they answer the questions in the form correctly.
But as we’ve mentioned, there are those who are selling mouthguards illegally and they are those who do not require their customers to fill out the form. They also try to label their product as an anti teeth grinding device instead of a snoring mouthpiece.
Can I Buy a Stop Snoring Mouthpiece in Walgreens, Walmart or CVS?
You can try to find teeth grinding mouthguards in these stores or you can buy the usual OTC solutions like chinstraps and nasal strips. However, they are less effective than MADs or TSDs. You can’t buy an anti snoring mouthpiece at these stores.
Check out my articles that discuss in detail the good and bad of using a mouthpiece.
Your better option is to simply shop for these mouthpieces online. I’ve tested several snoring devices and you can check them out here. In general though, I consider Good Morning Snore Solution (GMSS) to be the most effective and is very popular compared to other boil and bite devices.
A Word of Caution: Sleep Apnea and Snoring
But before you start shopping for a mouthguard, I just want to talk about snoring and its connection to sleep apnea. Snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can be serious and even fatal. If you think you have this condition, your best course of action is to see a doctor who can make a proper diagnosis and provide the right treatment.
The question you probably want to ask is: should I buy a mouthpiece from my dentist or buy a snoring mouthpiece online?
Here are the key differences between these two options:
Majority of snoring mouthguards you can buy online use the boil and bite concept. This means you need to place your mouthpiece in a container filled with hot water, and then once it is soft, you should bite it to create a customized mold. Place it in cold water so that it is able to retain its shape.
Custom-fitted mouthpieces on the other hand have better fit because they are really aligned with your teeth and gums. Once your dentist has determined your teeth and gum shape and size, the mold will be taken to a laboratory so that they can create a custom impression of your upper and lower teeth. Your dentist can also check if the mouthpiece fits your mouth well and if not, they will make some adjustments.
Not all products that you buy online can be adjusted. There are those that can, such as Snorerx which has this feature. If you want a good snoring device, make sure to choose one that is adjustable.
Quality custom fit mouthpieces can last several years depending on how often you use it and how well you take care of it. They are made with a material called thermoplastic which is similar to dentures. On the other hand, OTC mouthpieces can last between 3 to 12 months, although high quality ones may last a little longer. Avoid buying cheap, flimsy and low quality mouthpieces because you will only end up paying more for replacements.
Custom fit mouthpieces are more expensive and can cost upwards of $1,000. Those you can buy online are more affordable. You can buy a good quality one for anywhere between $80 to $200 although you can buy others for as low as $35.
Some Issues with Buying Snoring Mouthpieces Online
First off, there is no dentist who can adjust and fit your mouthpiece for you. So that means you can’t really get a complete customization for your snoring device. However, while these criticisms are warranted, not everyone can afford to shell out $1,000 to $2,000 on a custom fitted snoring solution.
Mind you, not all snoring devices are terrible. In fact, you can check out my top recommendations HERE for the best OTC snoring mouthpieces you can buy online.
As a reminder, if you think you have sleep apnea, it’s a good idea to seek help from a doctor or dentist. Snoring devices may help solve your snoring problem but it’s safer to get a medical professional’s assessment first instead of self diagnosing.