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Why Can’t I Buy a Stop Snoring Mouthpiece in Walmart?
If you suffer from sleep apnea or problem snoring, you may feel tired and groggy well into the morning after a night of fitful sleep.
Add to that the nightmare of trying to find an anti-snore solution that actually works and you may be downright exhausted.
If you are serious about getting your snoring under control, a stop snoring mouthpiece may be just the solution you’ve been looking for.
When you decide to buy an anti-snoring device you have to then think about where you are going to get it.
Many people start their search at Walmart or other drug stores and super stores.
Unfortunately, the options you find at these stores won’t work for snoring. Read more to find out why you can’t buy an anti-snoring device at Walmart and where you CAN get one.
Can You Find a Stop Snoring Mouthpiece at Walmart?
There are many different stop snoring devices on the market but MAD and TSD mouthpieces are two of the most popular options.
If you are thinking about getting one of these devices to stop your own problem snoring you might start your search by heading to the local Walmart.
If you shop at these stores you might find what you THINK you are looking for – a device that fits into your mouth to stop snoring.
If you actually take a moment to examine the device and to read the packaging, however, you may discover that the product you are holding is something entirely different.
Most pharmacies, drugstores, and other retail outlets do not sell anti-snoring appliances but they do sell other kinds of mouth pieces like sports guards and night guards.
These devices certainly serve a purpose but they are not what you need if you are trying to stop snoring.
Snoring Mouthpieces vs. Night Guards and Sports Guards
Night guards and sports guards are both types of oral devices that fit into your mouth but they do not work to stop your snoring.
Sports guards are designed to protect your teeth from injury while playing certain contact sports like football or hockey.
These devices are usually fitted using the “boil and bite” method and they keep the teeth in place to prevent dental damage and tooth loss.
An anti-snoring apparatus, on the other hand, is designed to pull the jaw forward to prevent the airway from collapsing during sleep.
Because sports guards immobilize the jaw instead of pulling it forward, they do not work to stop snoring.
Night guards are similar to sports guards in that they can be fitted using the “boil and bite” method.
These guards also keep the teeth from moving, but they are designed to serve a different purpose.
Rather than protecting the teeth and jaw from injury, night guards help to prevent teeth grinding, or bruxism.
Bruxism is the habitual and involuntary grinding of the teeth that occurs during sleep and, over time, it can lead to jaw soreness and tooth damage.
The night guards designed to solve this problem only serve to immobilize the jaw. Like sports guards, they do not advance the jaw at all to prevent snoring.
What are the Main Differences Between These Devices?
In addition to differences in function, there are a few more key differences between stop snoring devices and other mouthpieces. For example, sports guards and night guards are typically much less expensive than snoring appliances.
Anti-snoring devices usually cost a minimum of $50 while these other mechanisms generally only cost about $10.
Another important difference between these products is their physical appearance. Stop snoring devices are designed to fit over both the upper and lower teeth – some even include a piece designed to hold the tongue and pull it forward.
Night guards and sports guards, on the other hand, are only intended to cover the upper set of teeth.
Similarities Between Snoring Devices and Other Mouthpieces
Despite many significant differences, there are still some similarities between snoring appliances and other oral devices.
For example, most mouth guards are made from similar materials – some type of pliable plastic material that can be molded to fit the shape of your mouth and your jaw.
It is important to check whether the materials used are BPA-free – this should be listed on the packaging for the device.
Different appliances also offer differing degrees of customization when it comes to fit. Some snoring devices come in multiple sizes but not all of them offer customization with the “boil and bite” method.
Most sports guards and night guards can be customized using this method, even if they are only available for the upper teeth. Some of the newer anti-snoring appliances offer multiple sizes as well as “boil and bite” customization plus the added option for micro-adjustments.
Why Can’t You Buy Snoring Mouthpieces in Stores?
But why is it that anti-snoring mouthpieces are not sold in stores when sports guards and night guards are? It all has to do with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
To be more specific, the FDA has labeled anti-snoring devices a Class II medical device and they can only be sold with a prescription.
Night guards and sports guards are protective devices which are not regulated by the FDA – this makes them more readily available and much cheaper.
Fortunately for you, there are a few ways to work around the FDA regulation of stop-snoring apparatuses – you will learn more about that below.
Who Sells Stop Snoring Devices?
Now that you understand the difference between stop snoring devices and the options you are likely to find at a drug store or pharmacy, you may be wondering where exactly you can find real anti-snoring solutions.
As I’ve already mentioned, the FDA classifies this kind of mouthpiece as a medical device which requires a prescription for purchase.
The good news for you is that there are a few loopholes, or exceptions to the rule that you can take advantage of to get one of these devices without a prescription and at an affordable price.
One place you might try looking for an anti-snoring device is eBay or another buy-and-sell website. You may be able to find oral appliances on one of these websites that is being sold as an anti-snoring device for around $10 to $15.
Before purchasing one of these items, however, there are a few factors you need to consider:
What is it made from?
Many of the oral devices sold on these websites are made from low-quality plastics, not the BPA-free and safe thermoplastics that stop snoring mouthpiece manufacturers use. BPA has been linked to a number of serious health problems including cancer, neurological deficits, and decrease thyroid function so it is definitely not something you want to put in your mouth.
What do they really do?
Unfortunately, many of the products listed on these websites as anti-snoring devices are nothing more than the sports guards or night guards discussed above. As you have already learned, these products will not be effective in reducing your snoring.
Is there a return policy?
If you spend the money to purchase one of these devices and it turns out not to do what it is supposed to do, do you have the option to return it? If you are using a buy-and-sell website, the answer is probably No.
In most cases, the best place to purchase anti-snoring solutions is directly from the manufacturer. After doing some research and reading some reviews to determine which device is the right choice for you, you can visit the company’s website or give them a call.
Most manufacturers will require you to fill out a form or survey to determine your eligibility for the product and to make sure that it is the right option for you. If you meet the requirements, you will be allowed to place your order and your new stop-snoring appliance will be shipped right to your door.
Things to Think About When Shopping for Mouthpieces
Even if you decide that buying a stop snoring appliance from the manufacturer is the right choice, you still need to think about your options.
As with any kind of major purchase, you want to think about some key factors when comparing products to make sure you get the right one. Think about these things when you are making your comparisons:
Buying a stop snoring device from the manufacturer is going to be much cheaper than purchasing it from your doctor with a prescription. Still, the prices for different mouthpieces vary greatly so it is an important factor to consider.
The low end of the price range for these products is around $50 and the high end is around $200.
If you shop by price alone, you might end up with a product that doesn’t work as well as mid-range or more expensive product. Take a look at my comparison chart to shop for these devices by price.
When shopping for MADs, customization is an important factor to consider.
Appliances that use the boil and bite method for customization are good, but personally I am a fan of oral devices that allow you to make micro-adjustments.
The more customizable the device is, the more comfortable it will be to wear.
In addition to cost, you definitely want to look into the materials from which each device is made. If you purchase from a high-quality manufacturer the device is likely to be made from BPA-free thermoplastic that is completely safe.
Do not buy an anti-snoring product that isn’t BPA-free or one that is made from unsafe
There are many different kinds of anti-snoring solutions which I have already reviewed in another article – you can also see them on my comparison chart.
The most popular options, however, are the tongue stabilization device (TSD) and the mandibular advancement device (MAD). Some people feel that TSDs are less obstructive while others find the MAD perfectly
Not only do you need to think about how the device affects your snoring, but you need to think about your breathing as well. If you tend to breathe through your mouth while sleeping, some mouthpieces may not be right for you.
Some of them come with gaps between the sections or air holes to allow breathing.
Finally, once you choose the product you want to try you want to make sure that it is covered by some kind of guarantee if it doesn’t work or if you don’t like it. Many manufacturers offer a 30-day money back guarantees and some offer warranties on the product as well.
After considering each of these factors and comparing your options, it should be fairly clear to you which one is the best. If you still don’t know which one is right for you, consider my top two recommendations as discussed below.
My Top Two Picks: Vitalsleep and Good Morning Snore Solution
Spend just a few minutes researching and you will find that there are dozens, even hundreds of different anti-snoring mouthpieces on the market.
Luckily for you, I have spent more than a few minutes doing this kind of research on my own and I am happy to share with you my findings to make sure that you get the device that is just right for you.
Though I tried many different devices, there are two that stand out above the rest – the VitalSleep and the Good Morning Snore Solution.
Why Do I Like the VitalSleep?
The VitalSleep is FDA-approved and a proven snore reduction solution. This product is an MAD that works by gently pulling the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open during sleep.
What makes this appliance unique is the fact that you can customize it much more effectively than most other options on the market.
The VitalSleep device comes in two different sizes that you custom-fit with the “boil and bite” method – you can then make micro-adjustments up to 7mm to ensure comfort and maximum snore reduction.
This appliance costs about $59.95 but it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.
Read my full review: VitalSleep: A Two-Sized Solution That Really Tackles Snoring
What’s So Great About the Good Morning Snore Solution?
The Good Morning Snore Solution (GMSS) is another popular anti-snoring device that is BPA-free and cleared by the FDA.
This appliance is a TSD which gently pulls the tongue forward during sleep, preventing airway restriction and reducing snoring – it also reduces the risk for TMJ that comes with some MAD appliances.
The GMSS comes in one-size-fits-all that is ready to use straight out of the box and it is one of the most comfortable options on the market.
Additionally, this device is one of the few that can be worn with dentures, crowns, caps, and other types of dental work. The GMSS costs about $99.94 but it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Read my full review: GMSS Review: My Highest Personal Recommendation
Which Mouthpiece is Best for You?
If you have done the research and have determined that an anti-snoring oral device is a right option for you, take the time to learn about the different models out there so you can choose the right one.
Not all stop snoring devices are created equal so you need to be careful about making your choice to ensure that it is both safe and effective for you to use.
Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of the work for you. Feel free to check out some of the reviews I’ve written for various stop snoring mouthpieces that my wife and I have tried.
While some of these products were not ideal for us, they might be the right choice for you. I have also created a comparison chart that you can use as quick-reference tools to compare options.
With a little time and effort you can decide which stop snoring mouthpiece is right for you and then it is only a matter of time before you experience relief from problem snoring. So what are you waiting for?