If you have been given an oral appliance to help treat your sleep apnea, you should soon be back to feeling well-rested. Oral appliances are designed to help patients with sleep apnea breathe normally at night and eliminate sleep disruptions. This allows them to wake up feeling refreshed!
Like any other device that would spend a lot of time in your mouth, these appliances need to be cleaned regularly to avoid oral health problems.
Here are five tips for excellent oral appliance hygiene:
Brush gently. You need to brush your appliance each time you take it out of your mouth. When you brush, you should take caution and do it gently to avoid scratching it. You should use a soft-bristled brush (which is better for your teeth, too) and don’t use toothpaste on the appliance. To clean the oral appliance, you should use water and mild dish soap, or a denture cleaner.
Keep your teeth clean. Bacteria on your teeth can get trapped in your oral appliance. This can eventually cause it to become discolored and can even result in a foul odor. It also increases your risk of cavities and gum disease. To avoid these complications, never use your appliance until you have thoroughly brushed and flossed your teeth. Make sure you clean everything that could be covered by the appliance, including the gum line and hard to get to spaces in the back of your mouth.
Store your appliance in a safe place. You should never leave your oral appliance out in the open on your nightstand or next to the sink. Leaving it exposed makes it the perfect place for bacteria to gather and grow. After you have thoroughly cleaned the appliance you should store it according to the instructions that came with it. Some appliances may come with a storage container for you to use. You should never leave it to soak in mouthwash, as this can damage it.
Keep it away from heat. Oral appliances are custom made to fit your mouth. If it is exposed to heat, it can become warped and lose its shape. If this happens, it will no longer fit in your mouth properly and lose its effectiveness. You should never use boiling or hot water to clean it. You should also avoid leaving it in your car or direct sunlight.
Take caution when traveling. If you are traveling on a plane, you should keep your properly stored appliance with you in a carry-on bag. This will help prevent you from losing it, but also make sure it doesn’t too hot in the cargo hold of the plane.
Following this advice will ensure that your sleep apnea oral appliance therapy is successful without compromising your oral health.
Valley Sleep Therapy is your one-stop-shop for CPAP equipment and supplies in Mesa, Arizona.