Once you get an oral appliance to help treat your sleep apnea, you’ll be able to remember what it’s like to feel well-rested again. These devices are essential for letting patients with sleep disorders breathe normally without disrupting their night’s respite. Of course, like any other device that spends a lot of time in your mouth, sleep apnea oral appliances need to be kept clean to avoid serious oral health problems down the road; to do that, follow these 5 essential tips for excellent hygiene.
1. Be Gentle While Brushing
You should brush your appliance whenever you take it out of your mouth, but be careful; you could scratch it if you’re too rough while cleaning. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush (which is better for your teeth as well), and don’t use abrasive toothpaste on the appliance. You can use water, mild dish soap, or a denture cleaner during this process.
2. Make Sure Your Teeth are Clean
Any bacteria on your teeth will get trapped under your oral appliance. Over time, this will cause it to become discolored and might result in a funny smell; it could also increase your risk for gum disease and cavities. To avoid all of these problems, never put your appliance in until you’ve brushed and flossed as thoroughly as possible. Be sure you’re covering every area, including the gum line and the hard-to-reach spaces near the back.
3. Keep Your Appliance in a Safe Place
Don’t leave your appliance uncovered next to the sink or lying on your nightstand; that’ll make it a prime target for bacteria to accumulate and breed. Always rinse your appliance thoroughly to get rid of any saliva before storing it properly. This might mean putting it in a storage container, but you should follow the instructions provided. Do not leave it soaking in mouthwash, as that’ll end up damaging it.
4. Don’t Expose It to Heat
Each oral appliance is customized for the patient’s mouth, but if it’s exposed to heat, it could become warped and will no longer fit properly. Never use hot or boiling water to clean it, and avoid putting it in direct sunlight. (Leaving it in your car is also a bad idea, so keep that in mind when you’re driving home after receiving your appliance!)
5. Be Careful While Traveling
If you’re traveling by plane, keep your appliance in a carry-on bag and a dry container. Not only will this help you keep track of it, but it’ll also save the device from the heat of the plane’s cargo hold.
If you follow this advice, you’ll help ensure that your sleep apnea therapy is a success while also protecting your smile. Don’t be afraid to ask for more tips about life with an oral appliance; doing so will only help you get the rest you deserve!
About the Practice
Our experts at Sleep Dallas have the knowledge and expertise necessary to help patients with sleep apnea breathe and sleep normally again. By using oral appliance therapy at our practice in Irving, we’ll make sure you receive safe, high quality care that’ll provide satisfying results. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call (844) 409-4657.
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