It’s all the rage. No doubt you’ve heard its praises sung far and wide. But, should you do it? Is it really beneficial?
Let’s start at the beginning. What is mouth taping and why would anyone ever want to do it?
What is mouth taping and why people do it?
Mouth taping is used to help keep the mouth closed while you sleep to promote nasal breathing. If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s not what you think. We aren’t using duct tape or super glue here, generally it’s recommended to use paper tape or something like Myotape created specifically for mouth taping (or taping around the mouth as opposed to across the lips) and can be found here: https://buteykoclinic.com/myotape/
What is the benefit of mouth taping?
The main benefit of mouth taping is that it helps you breathe through your nose and not your mouth. Why is this important? Nasal breathing increases nitric oxide in the body, it acts as a filter that is much more efficient than the mouth, and it delivers more oxygen to our blood, tissues, and brain! Nasal breathing throughout day and night has been shown to help focus, memory, concentration, and in some cases decrease anxiety.
When we use mouth tape at night it allows us to ensure we are breathing through our nose even when we are asleep. But there are some key things you need to know before you attempt to mouth tape while sleeping.
Key things to know before mouth taping
We generally do not recommend mouth taping on your own without guidance from a myofunctional therapist or airway professional. It is always recommended that you ensure you are able to breathe through your nose adequately before you attempt mouth taping.
If you have not tried mouth taping during the day, you should not try it at night! The first step after ensuring patent nasal passageways is to try it out during the day when you are relaxing. If you are able to use the mouth tape to keep your mouth closed and get enough oxygen through your nose at rest during the day, the next step is to try mouth taping when exercising.
Did you know…you should be breathing through your nose during exercise?! That’s an entirely different blog post, but just keep in mind nasal breathing during exercise INCREASES athletic performance!
Once you’ve established nasal breathing throughout exercise routines, the next step is to utilize mouth tape at night. (Remember, we recommend only doing this under the guidance of a professional who specializes in airway health!)
To mouth tape or not to mouth tape?
While most say yes, I am pretty cautious so I only say yes, maybe, with specific cautions.
- This should only be done on adults. Taping a child’s mouth can be dangerous while they are sleeping and if you must do it, only under the advise of a medical professional, with myo tape or similar *around* the lips so that the child *can* breathe through their mouth if they have to. Quite frankly, I never recommend this for children. We should never need a crutch to nasal breathe and tape is just that, a crutch, or a literally bandaid slapped across your mouth.
- For adults, it can be beneficial only once you have established nasal breathing and are able to breath through your nose with your mouth closed during the day for extended periods of time. But… if you need mouth tape to keep your mouth closed and to help you breathe through your nose at night, is this a sign of other issues going on? Well, that’s a topic for another blog post [Hint: You shouldn’t need this literal mouth bandaid for life like many are selling]… Stay Tuned!
This is NOT medical advice. Please consult with a medical provider before using any medical device or aid.