Big box retailers hesitant to sell mouthguards that prevent snoring

by Robert Thomas on September 11, 2013

The popularity of anti-snoring mouthguards has exploded in recent years as people all across the world, Australia, UK and USA in particular, have discovered just how effective these simple devices can be when it comes to eliminating snoring.

In the United States, snoring suffers in search of snoring relief are having great difficulty locating this particular snoring solution in their local drug stores. Throat sprays, OTC pills, and nasal strips, and chin straps are all easily found but what about the snoring mouthpiece? Being a popular choice in snoring prevention, one would think that major retailers would be all over the sale of these?

Walmart, Walgreen’s or CVS and the sale of anti-snoring mouthpieces

mouthpiece for snoring WalgreensAfter doing your homework, you decide to go out and purchase a snoring mouthpiece locally from a Walmart, Walgreen’s or CVS only to come home empty handed. Why is it that these devices can be found all over the internet but can not be purchased from your local box box retailer? There has to be a reason behind this.

While in other countries such devices are openly sold at retail establishments on store shelves, the United States has a different take on the subject of “over the counter” Mandibular Advancement Devices. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the sale of such products. They classify snoring mouthguards as a class II medical device, placing restrictions on the sale of this product. The FDA believes that such devices should be prescribed and fitted by a physician due to concern that misuse may cause medical concerns. For instance, someone may purchase this device to stop their snoring which is ultimately caused by an undiagnosed and more serious condition known as sleep apnea.

FDAFor several years now, this battle has been fought between the FDA and snoring mouthguard manufacturers. UNITED STATES v. SNORING RELIEF LABS INC is a well known case in which the FDA pursued Snoring Relief Labs (makers of Snorban) This case dates back to 2000 but was an ongoing issue for several years prior. After reading this court case the message is clear – the FDA is against the open sale of anti-snoring mouthguards without a prescription.

What about online retailers?

You have likely seen several US based companies selling their mouth guards that promise to prevent snoring. So how are they able to sell their products?

While there are several workarounds, many manufactures take advantage of, the Exemptions From Adequate Directions for Use as outline by the FDA. Often times the consumer will have to fill out a questionnaire concerning their health before being able to place their order. The order will only be completed if they meet the criteria by answering all questions correctly.

Then there are other manufacturers who suggest that their products are being sold as a night guard to prevent teeth grinding but claim that their devices is “constructed exactly the same as an anti-snoring mouthguard”.

Others flat out sell their snoring mouthpieces with total disregard when it comes to obeying the law.

Why cant you buy them at your local retailers?

Snore Eliminator So you found mouthguards for teeth grinding but none that are specifically labeled for snoring at your Walmart, Walgreens or CVS? By now the answer should be fairly obvious. While there are several small mom and pop businesses who are manufacturing and selling these products at the risk of the FDA cracking down on them at a moments notice, the big players are choosing to sit on the sidelines due to the potential legal risks associated with selling such products. Perhaps this will change one day if the regulations become more relaxed but for the time being, don’t expect to see them appear on retailers’ shelves.

In the meantime, if you are interested in buying a mouthguard to help with your snoring you will find a ton of great devices that are can be purchased online. I’ve tried well over a dozen and found that almost all of them work to some extent. One of my favorites is the Good Morning Snore Solution because it barely takes up any room in your mouth and works incredibly well. You can read my complete review which also includes a video that I created that goes over my entire experience using the GMSS. This newer method of treating snoring is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional “boil and bite” type mouth guards and has been proven to be just as effective.

Which mouthpiece should I buy?

The anti-snoring mouthpiece is one of the most highly effective stop snoring solutions available. With over 100 different products to choose from, deciding which one to buy can be challenging.

As a snorer and product reviewer, I have tried many of these devices and created a list of recommended devices that will help to make this decision much easier.

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