Instructions for Use
What is the Snorer's Friend® ?
The Snorer's Friend® is a Mandibular Advancement Device designed to stop the noise of snoring. It is made from a soft thermoplastic material and intended for custom-fitting by the user in their own home.
Who should use the Snorer's Friend® ?
This device is designed for healthy adults who wish to reduce the volume and frequency of their snoring. It is not suitable for children, people with a history of epilepsy, people with certain tooth or gum problems, or people with obstructive sleep apnoea (except under the supervision of a doctor or dentist, see below).
If you do not have a full and healthy set of teeth, you may still be able to use the Snorer's Friend®, but you must consult a dentist, doctor or the manufacturer for special precautions to follow before starting use.
Some topical medications, lotions or pastes may react with the material of the device, so you must not use the device on nights when you apply any other product to your mouth.
Under the supervision of a doctor, this device may be an effective treatment for people suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). OSA is a respiratory disorder in which sufferers repeatedly stop breathing for short periods while they sleep. The Snorer's Friend® is not always effective in treating OSA, so it is important to seek guidance from a doctor if you suspect you may have OSA. OSA is a very serious condition which will have long term effects on your health unless treated properly. Symptoms that could indicate OSA include (1) recognised pauses in breathing during sleep, usually with "choking" sounds and (2) a feeling of not having had enough sleep despite spending enough hours in bed. Do not use the Snorer’s Friend® as a treatment for OSA without first consulting your doctor.
How do I use the Snorer's Friend® ?
The first step is to mould the device to suit your mouth. Instructions for fitting are below. After this once-off fitting you insert the device into your mouth before going to sleep each night, and take it out when you wake in the morning. A storage case is provided to store the device while you are not using it. Allow the device to air-dry in the container between uses. Cleaning is important and we recommend keeping the device and container clean with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste, as often as required.
The device should give between 4 and 24 months effective service. With continued wear it will slowly lose its shape and eventually become ineffective. If you grind or clench your teeth (bruxism) the device will wear quickly in certain places, which could lead to the device breaking. This could present a choking hazard. It is important to replace the device before there is any possibility of pieces breaking off. For a very heavy teeth grinder or teeth clencher replacement may need to be as often as every 4 months. With minimal grinding and clenching the device should last 24 months.
How does the Snorer's Friend® work?
When you wear the device your tongue is held slightly forward, because it is connected to your jaw. This helps keep your airway open, by increasing the clearance between the back of your tongue and the back of your throat. Lack of clearance in that area is the source of most snoring noise.
What are the side effects?
Some side effects are common with this device. Usually they don’t occur for more than 2 weeks. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist for longer than 2 weeks, or you feel they are becoming serious, you must stop using the device and consult your doctor before continuing. Common side effects are :
Sore jaw joint (Temporomandibular joint) This often occurs for the first week or so as your jaw becomes accustomed to its new sleeping position. However, you should discontinue use immediately if the pain is anything more than mild discomfort or persists for more than 30 minutes after removal of the device.
Sore teeth The device holds your jaw forward by gripping your teeth. This can result in some discomfort which should not last more than a few minutes after removing the device. There is some evidence that prolonged regular use of devices like the Snorer’s Friend® can cause gradual movement of the teeth in certain individuals. It is recommended that you mention to your dentist that you are using a Snorer’s Friend® and ask him or her to monitor the positions of your teeth at your normal dental checkups.
Gum problems In some people with sensitive gums or mouth tissue, the prolonged contact with the device may result in ulcers or tissue damage.
Excessive salivation This is a non-serious side effect but can be a nuisance. Usually it will improve as you become accustomed to the device.
How do I adjust the fit of the device?
The Snorer's Friend® needs to be moulded to suit your mouth before you use it for the first time. This is done by warming the device in hot water, which makes it soft so you can mould it. After it cools, it regains its strength and is ready to use. Please follow the procedure below. You’ll need to work fairly quickly once you commence the actual fitting, so please read and rehearse all the instructions carefully before you begin.
1. You’ll need the following items :
A watch that will allow you to accurately measure 17 seconds
A jug or kettle to boil some water
Two ceramic bowls deep enough to immerse the device
2. Fill one bowl with cold water (room temperature or below)
3. Insert the wooden spatula that came in the box into the slot in the front of the device. The spatula will act as a handle when you immerse the device in the hot water, and also prevent the slot being squashed during the moulding process. The slot must remain open to ensure you can breathe easily with the device in your mouth.
4. Practice putting the device in your mouth. Make sure you get your upper and lower teeth into the grooves. Make sure the device is the right way up. The small cutout at the front of the device (labeled “A” in the picture above) should go at the top.
5. Work out the position for your jaw. Move your jaw forwards and backwards (extend and retract) a few times, and then find a comfortable position which is about halfway between those two limits. If you have “normal” teeth, this will be where the upper and lower front teeth are vertically aligned. If you have an overbite or underbite, you should just select a position which is about halfway between the forward and backwards limits.
Very Important If you do not extend your jaw far enough, the device will be less likely to be effective. If you extend your jaw too far, you are increasing the likelihood of jaw joint pain. Everyone is slightly different, so treat the above advice as a starting position. If your snoring persists after the first night, remould the device (using this same procedure) to increase the jaw extension by about 2mm. If necessary, continue increasing the extension in small steps, and retesting each night, until either the snoring stops or you notice significant discomfort in your jaw joint (TMJ) on waking. If significant TMJ discomfort is occurring but the snoring has not stopped, then this device is not suitable for you and you should discontinue use immediately. Please note that some mild discomfort in the TMJ is normal whilst getting used to this device, see “side effects” on the previous page.
6. Boil some water and tip it into the second bowl as soon as it is boiling.
7. Holding the device by the wooden spatula, quickly immerse it fully in the hot water for 17 seconds. We’ve assumed that 3 or 4 seconds will elapse between the water boiling and immersion of the device. This timing is important, so use the watch to make sure you immerse it for the right amount of time. Make sure you are not touching the device against the edge of the bowl as this will deform it and make it hard to fit to your teeth.
8. Take the device out of the water, and very gently rotate it to allow excess water to run off. Touch it against the skin on your arm to make sure it is not too hot to put in your mouth. If you’ve left it in the hot water longer than 17 seconds, it may be too hot and could burn your mouth. In that case, you should wait for it to cool down before inserting into your mouth.
9. Place the device into your mouth, so that your upper and lower teeth are located in the upper and lower channels of the device. Don’t bite into the device just yet. You need to read step 10 before biting into it. Also, don’t remove the spatula until you have finished the moulding (step 13).
10. Extend your lower jaw forward to the position you established earlier (point 5 above), and bite with moderate force into the device. Don’t bite really hard, just hard enough to get a good impression in the material. Then quickly put your fingers into your mouth and push to mould the material against your teeth. The front teeth (both upper and lower) are the most important. The back teeth are also important, but do the front first, while the material is softest. Do the same on the inside with your tongue, especially concentrating on the area behind your lower front teeth.
11. Keep applying pressure with your fingers and tongue for 30 seconds.
12. Remove the device from your mouth and immerse it in the cold water. Leave it there for 1 minute.
13. Remove the spatula and place the device back in your mouth. It should feel comfortable, and grip your upper and lower teeth snugly. If you feel any areas where the fit is poor, you can repeat the above procedure up to 3 times
Your Snorer's Friend® is now ready for use, and should provide immediate relief from snoring.