What Are Tongue Retaining Devices?
When it comes to your battle with snoring, it can feel like there is no end in sight. After all, your snoring has likely plagued you on a nightly basis for years. You might have tried several different options to treat the issue: mandibular advancement devices, anti-snoring pillows, even anti-snoring chinstraps! Since you are reading our analysis of the best tongue stabilizing devices around, you likely didn’t have any success with the aforementioned options. Now that you are here, let’s education you on tongue retaining devices so that you can come away with the necessary information to make your snoring problems go away forever.
Tongue retaining devices focus on addressing your snoring by way of your tongue. The anti-snoring devices we listed above are all focused on your jaw – for a reason. By adjusting your jaw, you can limit the impact that your blocked airway has on your snoring. If anti-snoring products that address the jaw are effective, why would people try tongue retaining devices? The truth is that anti-snoring products that target your jaw may cause a variety of different side effects, including jaw pain and soreness.
A tongue retaining device can be the right choice for people who are looking to attack their snoring without impacting their jaw. TRDs are an effective, problem-solving anti-snoring product that can be used by almost anyone who is interested in taking back their night’s sleep. Are you one of those people? If so, let’s continue our discussion on the best tongue retaining devices by talking about the scientific mechanics behind the tongue retaining devices.
How Tongue Retaining Devices Work
Tongue retaining devices, or tongue stabilizing devices, are scientifically proven and mechanically-made to address the core movements that cause snoring.
Snoring, for those that have never put much thought into it, is essentially just the sound produced by your soft tissue vibrating in your throat. Snoring typically doesn’t come from your nose and is likely a product of blocked airways. The different parts of your system involved in snoring include the: uvula, tongue, soft palate, and lateral pharyngeal walls.
When you fall asleep at night, the back of your throat begins to relax because of the muscles inside. This muscle relaxation sweeps over your entire body in order for you to rest. For some people, this muscle relaxation leads to snoring as a result of the process that we outlined above. Snoring is most pronounced when you hit your REM cycle because that is when your muscles are at their most relaxed. This process happens to everyone, but only about half of the population will experience the aggravating snoring discussed in this guide.
Okay, so now that we know how snoring happens, what can we do about it? Well, if you are reading our breakdown of the best tongue stabilizing devices, the likelihood is good that you want a solution to your problem. With tongue retaining devices, you address your snoring in a fundamental way.
While each product on our list of the best tongue retaining devices is slightly different, they all are worn in fundamentally the same way. You wear your tongue retaining device at night, inside of your mouth. Your tongue presses through the opening of the TRD and it rests in the bubble of whichever device you end up purchasing. By putting your tongue through this insert, your tongue is held slightly forward and away from the back of your throat. After your tongue is inserted through the TSD, you merely pinch the bubble in order to set the ‘pressure’ of the device.
With your tongue pulled away from the back of your throat, you will find that your airway isn’t as restricted as it otherwise would be. With your airway free from obstruction, you are able to enter into your REM sleep in a more efficient and comfortable manner. Your airway has been targeted by the anti-snoring tongue retaining device and now you are able to sleep.
Let’s briefly summarize how tongue stabilizing devices operate.
- When you go to sleep at night, the muscles in your body relax.
- When your muscles relax, your tongue drops back toward the rear of your throat.
- When your throat is obstructed, vibrations travel through your throat and generate the snoring sound.
- Tongue retaining devices target your tongue in order to prevent it from obstructing your airway.
- All you have to do is put the TSD in your mouth and insert your tongue into the chamber of the device.
- Rest your tongue comfortably inside of the TRD’s chamber.
- Now, pinch the chamber with one hand in order to set the ‘pressure’ of the chamber.
- Your tongue is now being held forward, away from the back of your throat.
- With your tongue held forward, your airway stays unblocked and your snoring should be reduced.
The process sounds pretty simple, right? While snoring may be a huge problem for you, the mechanics behind the process are relatively simple. Tongue stabilizing devices work to target this simple process in order to streamline the solution for you.
Fitting Your Tongue Retaining Device
The upside of a tongue retaining device like aveoTSD or Good Morning Snore Solution is that these products are incredibly easy to wear and maintain. Tongue retaining devices don’t have any of the elaborate setups that are so common among other products, such as MADs.
Traditionally, with a mandibular advancement device, you will need to boil the product before biting into it in order to have the product customized for your mouth. This is not the case for your tongue retaining device. Instead, all you need to do is follow the simple steps that we are going to outline below. Keep in mind, tongue retaining devices are meant to be worn comfortably and should not cause you any great pains or discomfort during usage. With that being said, there may be a period of time where you are acclimating to the product. During this period, typically during your ‘test runs,’ you may feel slightly stretched and pulled by the device.
Listed below are the complete steps to comfortably implementing a tongue retaining device into your nightly routine.
- Upon receiving your TRD, carefully clean the product with toothpaste and warm water.
- Afer your tongue retaining device has been cleaned, take some time during the day in order to test-wear the product.
- Typically, each test-wearing session should last two to three hours. Your body needs to acclimate to the product.
- Now, take your tongue retaining device and line it up with your mouth. Irrespective of the device you have, there should be a notch showcasing which way is considered ‘up.’
- With the device lined up to your mouth, gently insert it until the ridges are lined up with your lips.
- Now, you’ll slowly feed your tongue through the central opening so that your tongue rests within the TRD chamber.
- Once within the chamber, take a moment to squeeze the chamber in order to adjust the pressure.
- Your tongue should now feel slightly tugged forward.
Once you’ve grown accustomed to how the tongue retaining device feels within your mouth, you can start wearing it when you go to bed. Typically, tongue retaining devices stay in place fairly well during your rest. However, if you are a chronic twist-and-turner, you’ll have to pay attention so as not to allow it to come loose during the night.
As with all oral anti-snoring devices, you need to get into the habit of daily hygienic practices. Make sure to wash your anti-snoring TRD with water and toothpaste before you use it. With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can expect your tongue retaining device to last quite a long while. Still, we advise having a second TRD on hand in the event that your first one eventually wears out. Many anti-snoring TRD companies supply a second TRD with your first purchase.
Now that we talked about fitting your tongue retaining device, we can move on to a more general discussion pertaining to what you should expect with the product that you decide to purchase. As you read the following section, make sure to keep in mind that not all TRDs are made equal and that not all of them are going to be effective in treating your specific problem.
What To Expect When You Start Using Your Tongue Retaining Device
We already outlined the ‘fitting’ process involved with tongue retaining devices. In our outline, we showcased the process from opening the package all the way to going to bed at night. This process will repeat itself every single time that you use your TRD.
As for maintaining your TRD, we also talked about it in the prior segment of our discussion on the best tongue stabilizing devices. We can detail the process a little more thoroughly here.
In order to properly maintain your tongue retaining device, you need to put a priority on cleanliness. Any oral anti-snoring device that you use, whether it is a mandibular advancement device or a tongue stabilizing device, needs to be clean at all time. Nightly cleanings will help to keep your device in good shape, your mouth healthy, and your breath fresh. Consider your TRD an extension of your teeth and treat it appropriately.
Additionally, practicing proper maintenance of your TRD can lead to a prolonged shelf life of the product itself. Tongue retaining devices aren’t meant to be worn forever, but that isn’t to say that they won’t last long. Products like aveoTSD are made out of medical grade silicone, which means that the product will last long – if you take care of it.
When it comes to potential side effects, with most anti-snoring devices, you should be used to the idea that you are going to feel some sort of discomfort while using the product. Mandibular advancement devices can lead to jaw soreness, gum pain, and even loosened teeth if proper practices are not followed. With tongue retaining devices, the list of side effects becomes impressively short. Let’s talk about the most common side effects of using a TRD:
- Tongue Soreness – The most common minor side effect reported by users of TSDs is mild tongue soreness. Far from a problem, this typically goes away with prolonged usage of the TSD. Typically, tongue soreness is just your body getting used to having the TSD on overnight.
- Mild Excess Salivation – Additionally, some users report that they experienced excess amounts of salivation during their usage of their tongue stabilizing device. Excess salivation is not a serious side effect, nor is it a common one. Typically, any salivation issues can be fixed by making sure that your TRD is properly fitted to your mouth.
- Minor Discomfort – Finally, you might experience minor discomfort while wearing your TSD during the first few nights of use. This side effect typically goes away as your body acclimates to the product. If you experience prolonged discomfort that prevents you from sleeping, consider discontinuing use.
As we alluded to throughout this entire piece, getting used to wearing your tongue retaining device is the most problematic aspect of the whole experience. With that being said, once you have become accustomed to wearing your TRD, you will likely see a reduction in all of the side effects that we listed above.
Tongue retaining devices are not perfect products and they are far from being the only solution to your snoring woes. However, tongue retaining devices should definitely have a place within your repertoire when you are battling against snoring. TSDs may not eliminate snoring forever, but they can be the right step toward fixing the problem. With this aspect of the conversation out of the way, let’s turn our attention toward the next big subject that you’re likely wondering about: sleep apnea.
Tongue Retaining Devices & Sleep Apnea
Any conversation surrounding the problem that is snoring will eventually turn into a chat about sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is an incredibly common sleeping disorder that is found throughout the world. Sleep apnea manifests itself almost indiscriminately, though there are certain triggers that can make it more likely or more severe – we’ll talk about those soon. First, let’s discuss what sleep apnea is.
Sleep apnea occurs when your upper airway gets blocked over and over again during sleep. The difference between snoring and sleep apnea is simple: at times, your sleep apnea can completely obstruct your airflow. What does this mean? This means that you stop breathing entirely for a second or two at a time. This is obviously a problem.
Chronic obstructive sleep apnea can be a challenge to live with. Typically, if you live with sleep apnea, you are likely living with the side effects of the sleeping disorder. The side effects of sleep apnea include chronic fatigue, periods of rest where you stop breathing, and of course, snoring itself.
If you struggle with mild sleep apnea, then we have good news: tongue retaining devices can work to help your sleep apnea. Tongue retaining devices help to keep your tongue pulled away from the back of your throat, just preventing the obstruction that so frequently causes you discomfort and pain.
If you have severe sleep apnea, you should consult a medical professional before making any decisions. Severe sleep apnea may need more help than a TRD can offer. Typically, severe sleep apnea is treated with a CPAP machine once the disorder has been identified. Healthcare professionals might still suggest using a TRD if/when your CPAP machine is unavailable.
You should understand that tongue retaining devices are capable of addressing your sleep apnea. If you want to use a TRD in order to treat your own sleep apnea, consult with your healthcare provider while also appraising each individual TRD. While all tongue retaining devices accomplish the same task, some of them are made to treat sleep apnea and others are not.
Now that we discussed sleep apnea and tongue retaining devices, let’s move on to one of the most pressing questions you might need to have answered: are tongue retaining devices safe to use?
Are Tongue Retaining Devices Safe To Use?
We touched on the concept of side effects repeatedly during our discussion on tongue retaining devices. Now, we’re going to address the safety of TRDs. Tongue retaining devices are oral anti-snoring products and, as such, they need to be carefully appraised and confirmed as safe before being used.
With tongue retaining devices, you are affixing your tongue to an external product. The decision to do this might cause some anxiety, but it shouldn’t. As it turns out, tongue stabilizing devices are completely safe to use in just about any capacity. The design, size, and function of tongue retaining devices will work to minimize any potential safety concerns you might have in relation to swallowing or choking.
Additionally, the majority of anti-snoring tongue retaining devices, such as aveoTSD or ZenSleep, are made out of completely safe, medical grade materials. The vast majority of anti-snoring mouthpieces are made of BPA-free materials. The only potential issue you may run into relating to the materials themselves is some sort of allergen. Understand your allergies and you’ll likely find no problems with TRDs.
Finally, we need to talk about side effects. Earlier on in our discussion surrounding tongue retaining devices, we outlined the most common potential side effects that users experience. These side effects were all minor and none of them would be bad enough to insist on ceasing use of the TRD of your choice.
As you can see, safety should not be a concern for individuals looking to use tongue retaining devices as a solution to their snoring issues. Tongue retaining devices are completely safe to use and can be used in conjunction with other anti-snoring products.
How To Maintain Your Tongue Retaining Device
When it comes to maintaining your tongue retaining device, there are only a few key steps that you need to pay attention to. Tongue retaining devices like aveoTSD or ZenSleep are built to last, so you just have to follow a simple maintenance routine in order to keep your product in working order:
- Upon first receiving your tongue retaining device, make sure to thoroughly wash it with warm water and toothpaste.
- When you are not wearing your tongue retaining device, make sure to keep it in its handy container. You do not want germs getting all over the product and you certainly don’t want it accessible to the open air.
- After each and every use, make sure to once again wash the product with water and toothpaste.
- Allow your tongue retaining device to air dry after you wash it.
By practicing these easy-to-follow maintenance techniques, you can dramatically extend the lifespan of your tongue retaining device. While TRDs are not traditionally very expensive, you’d probably still rather not need to buy a new one every couple of weeks. With proper maintenance, you can likely get six months to a year out of each TRD. Make sure to consult with the manufacturer of the tongue retaining device that you decide to purchase as each device is made to last a different amount of time.
How Long Can I Use My Tongue Retaining Device?
We touched briefly on the subject of shelf-life in our discussion surrounding TRD maintenance, but this is a subject that deserves a little bit more clarity. With tongue retaining devices, your shelf life is going to change depending on the product and the manufacturer. Some tongue retaining devices are built to be used only for a short period of time. Other products are built to last you up to a year. With that being said, we decided to showcase the shelf life of the three best tongue retaining devices on our list so that you can get a feel for how long each one will work:
aveoTSD – 12 Months: According to the manufacturer of aveoTSD, proper care and maintenance can dramatically lengthen the lifespan of the product. Due to the high-grade medical silicone, a huge plus for the product, aveoTSD can last up to a year.
ZenSleep – 6 Months: According to the manufacturers of ZenSleep, the device doesn’t have a specific lifespan. According to their documentation, proper care and maintenance should keep ZenSleep’s ZenGuard in good condition for months, which we take to mean roughly six months.
Good Morning Snore Solutions – 1 Year+: According to the team behind Good Morning Snore Solution, this is the longest-lasting TRD on our list. The developers of GMSS suggest that their mouthpiece will last for over a year with regular maintenance.
While discussing our options, you can see that there is a baseline for roughly six months of usage before needing to replace your TRD. This is just a baseline, however, and if you opt for a tongue retaining device outside of our list, your mileage may vary. Always consult your maintenance guide in order to make sure that you are doing everything that you can in order to keep the product usable.
Do I Need To Visit My Dentist Before Buying A Tongue Retaining Device?
One of the most convenient aspects of tongue retaining devices is that they typically do not require you to get a prescription. With that being said, when you begin looking for ways to treat your snoring, it never hurts to consult a medical professional. By talking to your doctor, you can rule out any more serious health issues related to your snoring. If you are purely treating snoring, a tongue retaining device can be an easy-to-acquire product that can help to address the aggravating experience. If you are knowingly trying to treat what you believe to be sleep apnea, then consult a doctor before beginning your use of a tongue stabilizing device.
In summary: No, you do not typically need a prescription before purchasing and using a tongue retaining device.
How To Choose The Right Tongue Retaining Device
We talked in depth about the different facets that make up tongue retaining devices. We discussed how they should be maintained, what goes into actually wearing a TRD, and what side effects you might expect to experience while using the product. Throughout this discussion, we have yet to guide you toward how to pick the right tongue retaining device for your specific needs. Let’s go ahead and point out a few steps that you can follow in order to choose your TRD.
Establish Your Budget – Tongue retaining devices are going to range in both quality and price. Typically, TDRs can range from $40 to $125.
Identify What You Are Treating – If you are aiming to address just snoring, as it pertains to your throat, then you can pretty much pick whatever TRD that you desire. However, if you are aiming to treat a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, you need to spend extra time doing research into each individual product. Not all TRDs will be able to help with sleep apnea.
Read Reviews And Guides – Finally, you need to spend time doing some research on your own in order to identify which tongue retaining device is right for you. Today, we did all of the groundwork so that you could make an informed decision out of the options we listed in our guide on the best tongue retaining devices.
Our Top Picks
After multiple rounds of rigorous testing, we have identified the best snoring aids currently available. Now it is time to choose the best snoring aid for you. With the mini-reviews below, you can find out what makes each of our top picks unique and superior to other solutions on the market and discover which one constitutes the most effective solution for your snoring problem.
Next up on our list of the best tongue retaining devices is aveoTSD. This unique little device may look like a pacifier, but it really packs quite the punch when it comes to treating snoring in adults and teenagers. aveoTSD was built with your comfort and satisfaction in mind and it is hard not to come away impressed by the product.
When you look for an anti-snoring device, you want something that feels good and works great. Clinically tested, aveoTSD has been proven to be effective in the vast majority of users. aveoTSD is not only effective, but there are very few, if any, side effects that you need to be concerned with. With all of that being said, you still need to take some time in order to make sure aveoTSD is right for you. Spend time wearing the device during the day in order to make sure that it fits right and stays comfortable. Once you’ve grown acclimated to how aveoTSD feels in your mouth, you can begin sleeping with the product on a nightly basis.
One of the best aspects of aveoTSD is that it is as effective in treating snoring as it is in treating sleep apnea. With the regular discount, aveoTSD is somewhere in the middle of the price spectrum. The product comes with a two-year warranty.
2. Good Morning Snore Solution
Leading off our list of the best tongue stabilizing devices is Good Morning Snore Solution. If you are looking for the ideal anti-snoring TSD, then Good Morning Snore Solution might be right up your alley. This tongue stabilizing device was built to last. It is made with high-quality, BPA-free material. It has been clinically tested and proven to work in nearly 90% of all users. By gently placing your tongue in the round bubble and squeezing out the excess air in order to create pressure, you will be able to custom-fit Good Morning Snore Solution to your mouth. Good Morning Snore Solution is comfortable to wear, easy to acclimate to, and effective in treating snoring and mild sleep apnea.
What you need to keep in mind with Good Mornin Snore Solution is that you’ll need to start by taking baby-steps with the product. Wear Good Morning Snore Solution for a few hours at a time during the day in order to acclimate to the feel and design of the device. Once you are comfortable with the mouthfeel, begin sleeping with it through the night. Make sure to practice daily hygienic cleanings by using toothpaste to scrub the GMSS.
While the price is higher on Good Morning Snore Solution than other TSD options, the value is definitely there for a premium product. Good Morning Snore Solution is available prescription-free and it comes pre-packed with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you are looking for a risk-free way to test the tongue stabilizing device industry, this is your way to do it.