You finally found obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) relief through the oral appliance your Chicago dentist provided you. Now you just need to keep it clean and bacteria-free. Below are tips for cleaning your oral appliance.
Brush your Appliance
It’s important that you brush your oral appliance before and after you use it. When your appliance isn’t cleaned sufficiently, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria and leads to tartar, plaque, and decay. While you’re sleeping, your mouth is less hydrated and therefore becomes easier for these bacteria to build up. When you wear your appliance, it holds these bacteria closer to your tooth enamel. To prevent this bacteria build-up, brush your appliance before and after each use.
Don’t Use Toothpaste
Toothpaste can scratch your device since its abrasive and leave spaces for bacteria to collect. You then end up with discoloration, unpleasant odors, and even potential oral hygiene issues. Instead, use hand soap or dish detergent and warm water to clean your appliance. Just use a separate brush for your appliance since you don’t want to use soap to brush your teeth.
Don’t Use Bleach
Bleach can cause the materials of your oral appliance for sleep apnea to breakdown. It also causes your appliance to smell and get the taste of bleach in your mouth.
Don’t Boil your Appliance
Never boil your oral appliance to clean it. You shouldn’t use extremely hot water either. Sure, boiling water kills bacteria, but the water can also damage your appliance and distort the plastic. Your Chicago sleep apnea dentist fitted the device to fit in your mouth precisely. When you lose the fit, not only can you lose the function and comfort of the appliance, but it can also cause your teeth to move out of alignment since it’s no longer fitted to your teeth.
Allow your Appliance to Dry
Before you store your oral appliance, ensure it’s completely dry first. If left wet, it can promote bacteria growth. Give it around 30 minutes to dry before you store it.
Store your Appliance in a Case
When you’re not wearing your oral appliance for sleep apnea, store it in a case. Some people often store their appliance in the bathroom, however, the humidity and steam in the bathroom can warp the appliance. You should store it in a case in your bedroom.
Your oral appliance is a great investment in your appearance, health, and well-being and it serves an extremely important function. You want to protect your investment so it can do its job more effectively.
If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, your Chicago sleep apnea dentist will customize your sleep apnea oral appliance to comfortably fit your mouth. Contact us at Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center today at 773-570-1647.