Hi, I am Robert Bates
I have a snoring problem. Well, actually I had a snoring problem. Snoring is not a joke though [...]
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Anti-snoring Chin Straps: A Possible Bridge To Better Solutions
As one of the cheapest and most widely marketed anti-snoring devices chin straps are easy to fit, wear and maintain.
So as a stress-free, cost-attractive solution to solving snoring issues you’d think chin straps would have to be an obvious choice for suffering snorers everywhere, right?
Well, yes… and no.
How They Work
This jaw positioning helps in two ways, one it reduces the chance of your tongue falling back into the throat, where it will block airways, and two it reduces the risk of loose-tissue – centered on the neck and jaw (now tightened) – from vibrating.
These proven approaches, that reduce or stop snoring for certain snorers, are widely accepted as effective ways to secure a more peaceful night’s sleep.
In principle it’s the same approach that mouthpieces take, with both Mandibular Advancement Devices | MADs and Tongue Stabilizing Devices | TSDs designed to both tighten loose-tissue and secure the tongue in place.
So Chin Straps and Mouthpieces Are The Same?
Yes, and… no.
Even though they both aim to achieve the same results via the same basic concept, they are different. The major difference being that while chin straps seek to hold the jaw in a forward position from the outside, via a sling or any number of straps wrapped round the head, mouthpieces aim to do so by sitting inside the snorer’s mouth.
On the face of it this may seem like a minor difference to focus on, especially if the results are comparable, but that’s where the shortcomings of chin straps come to the fore.
Chin straps don’t even come close to delivering the results that mouthpieces do, not in terms of what kind of snorers they can help and not in terms of safety.
If you wish to do a quick online study by comparing customer satisfaction versus complaint, then you’ll soon find that while mouthpieces secure mostly very positive reviews, chin straps command a much more negative image.
For a further more detailed look at how mouthpieces work – and their numerous advantages – please follow this link.
Chin Straps: The Fit
On the very first try you may need to adjust the straps or sling so that it feels comfortable and performs to its full potential. Do this in order to make sure that it’s not so tight that it causes discomfort, and not so loose as to become totally ineffective.
If it is too loose it will slip off with minimal movement and leave your mouth to fall open – rendering it useless. If it is too tight it can cause headaches and jaw and neck ache issues.So be sure to fit it right, for you.
So other than an initial trial-and-find you can simply unwrap your newly arrived chin strap – maybe stick it in the wash before your first wear– strap or sling up and use it.
Unlike other solutions it can be used if you wear dentures, have gum disease or temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Chin straps are easy to maintain, clean and store.
There’s no need to establish an intense cleansing regime or to use cleaning solutions and other cleaning products such as toothbrushes.
Other than putting your chin strap through the wash now and then It will demand nothing more of you than the time needed to put it on.
They can, with certain marketed chin straps, be extremely cost attractive. Others; however, are marketed for what I can only term “extortionate prices”, going up and beyond $100!
For what it is, a fabric chin strap, this is an extremely expensive outlay. For this kind of money you can easily buy the best over the counter mouthpieces for an equivalent or cheaper price.
Its whole premise is backwards, that is, it tackles the problem with an “outside-in” approach rather than using the much more successful “inside-out” technology of MADs and TSDs, whose effectiveness far outshines the poorly conceived concept of a fabric sling or web of straps that moves and slips around your face and jaw as you sleep.
Having a blocked nose and or being a sufferer of sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues if you use a chin strap. Not being able to breathe through your mouth – and with your nose blocked– will limit your oxygen intake.
This is a very important consideration to take into account if you are thinking of buying a chin strap. They can be dangerous.
The effectiveness of the fabric’s taut-strength, the quality of the Velcro closing tabs, and the overall fit of the chin strap does deteriorate over time. So, although arguably a near instant remedy for some snorers, you’ll find that your snoring problems will return, as daily use of the chin strap will overcome its preventive qualities.
Of course the chin strap might be right for you… but in all honesty? I believe chin straps aren’t effective at what they are supposedly designed to do.
There are just too many considerations to take into account when using a chin strap: Are you a restless sleeper? Do you suffer from allergies or sleep apnea? Are you a mouth snorer and a mouth snorer only? Will it slip, or even come off completely during the night?
The chin strap can of course be a bridging device, but it will only offer some temporary relief to what, in my opinion, really needs a much more effective and safer solution.
So again, that brings us back to mouthpieces. A range of devices with a proven record of delivering results, and with years of positive feedback to back them up – including clinical testing for some devices – mouthpieces are by far the better choice. They are established. They are tested. They work.
So, the bottom-line? The chin strap can only ever really be effective –as outlined above – in very specific circumstances. So please do be sure to consider very carefully what it is your individual snoring problems require in order for them to be remedied because for the sum total of their value, no matter how you spin it, chin straps are in my opinion not worth the investment in time or money.
Again please note: It is of the utmost importance to be aware of how necessary it is to talk with your registered physician about your snoring problems, you could, as written above, be suffering from a much more serious condition: Sleep Apnea.
Sleep apnea can lead to life threatening events such as strokes or high blood pressure. Remember only your registered healthcare giver is qualified to assist you in choosing which anti-snoring solution will best address your specific individual needs, so please do seek their advice.