August 25, 2018
If you’re one of the many people with sleep apnea who’s able to enjoy a full night’s rest and wake up feeling full of energy thanks to an oral appliance, then a little day-to-day maintenance is key to making sure it lasts for many years to come. Fortunately, you don’t have to follow some extensive care routine simply to get some shut-eye! The 5 quick tips below will tell you everything you need to know about how to take care of your sleep apnea appliance.
1. Make sure you brush your teeth before wearing your appliance
If you decide to skip brushing one night before putting on your sleep appliance, then all of the leftover food particles, plaque, and bacteria on your teeth will become trapped up against them for the entire night. The dark, wet, and constricted environment will serve as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which can dramatically increase your risk for cavities and other oral infections. Basically, it’s worth the three minutes it takes to properly clean your teeth to save yourself from having to deal with dental headaches down the line!
2. Don’t forget to rinse
You should rinse and dry your appliance every time before you put it into your mouth. This will wash away any excess food debris left on it so that it doesn’t end up on your teeth!
3. Brush your appliance every morning
After you’ve brushed your teeth in the morning, now it’s time to brush your appliance as well! Use a soft bristled brush, ultrasonic cleaner, and either toothpaste or a clear antibacterial soap to give your appliance a good scrub. Try to get into every nook and cranny, paying special attention to the area where the appliance can be adjusted. This will remove any excess bacteria and prevent your appliance from developing an unpleasant odor.
4. Let it breathe
Once you’ve brushed it, rinse it off, and put your appliance in its container and leave it open to air dry. Putting your appliance in a closed environment makes bacteria and yeast more likely to grow on it, and you certainly don’t want to put that in your mouth!
5. Take it for a dip
About once a week, you should soak your appliance with a denture cleaner tablet. You’ll find these kinds of tablets in any big box store or pharmacy in your area, and they help provide a level of clean you just can’t quite achieve with brushing alone. Fill your appliance’s container with water, put the appliance in it, drop in the tablets, and wait for a few minutes. Afterward, dump out the water and dry your appliance.
These tips literally take minutes a day to use, but they can easily add years to the lifespan of your oral appliance as well as safeguard your oral health. With them, you’ll be able to rest easy and smile brightly for many mornings to come.
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Mogell is a certified sleep dentist who has been providing sleep apnea treatment in Jupiter for more than 30 years using custom-made oral appliances. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, he’s able to help anyone who has questions about sleep apnea, sleep testing, or taking care of an oral appliance. To get in touch with Dr. Mogell, he can be contacted through his website.
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