While your oral appliance provides a convenient and comfortable alternative to the traditional treatment method of using a cPAP machine, it still requires proper care. Your efforts will ensure that it lasts longer and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. If you’re wondering, “What are the best ways of cleaning my sleep appliance?” then continue reading. A local expert will get you up to speed so you can rest better and avoid any unnecessary interruptions in the treatment process. Additionally, you’ll learn some other key tips for how to manage life with your oral sleep appliance.
#1 – Gently Brush Your Appliance
Whenever you remove your appliance, you should gently brush it with a soft toothbrush, but avoid using toothpaste; the abrasives it contains could leave scratches and grooves. Some better options are water, dish soap or denture cleaner.
#2 – Keep Your Teeth Clean
Any bacteria inside your mouth will eventually get trapped under your oral appliance. This can cause the device to acquire a foul smell, and it can also leave you more vulnerable to developing cavities and gum disease.
Thus, proper dental hygiene is of the utmost importance. So always brush and floss your teeth before inserting the appliance.
#3 – Properly Store the Oral Appliance
When you’re not wearing your sleep appliance, it should be stored in a safe container. By leaving it sitting out, you run a greater risk of bacterial contamination. You should also avoid leaving the appliance soaking for prolonged periods of time, as it, too, can cause damage.
After it’s been cleaned, it’s best to store your device in the container that was designed for it.
#4 – Don’t Expose the Oral Appliance to Heat
Your dentist will custom design your oral appliance to fit your mouth perfectly, but if you leave it in a window seal or vehicle where it’s exposed to high temperatures, it can become warped and ineffective.
#5 – Plan in Advance When Traveling
If you have an upcoming trip, you’ll need to have a plan for how to properly transport your oral appliance. Whether you’re driving or flying, store it in a dry container inside a bag that you’ll keep with you. Therefore, you’ll always know where the device is, which will help to prevent any unforeseen mishaps.
Now that you have a strategy for how to care for your oral appliance, the next step is implementation. Not only will this contribute to a better functioning device, but it will also protect your investment. Thus, you’ll be able to get the rest you need and become the best version of yourself!
About the Author
Dr. Dustin C. Lively earned his dental degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. Since graduating, he has gone on to receive advanced training in several areas, which includes the treatment of sleep apnea. Dr. Lively helps his patients rest better by providing them with custom oral sleep appliances at EZ Sleep Solutions, and he can be reached for more information through his website.