Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Keeping Your Oral Appliance Clean

Most sleep apnea patients find that the alternatives to CPAP are more comfortable and user-friendly than the cumbersome mask and hose device. However, for optimal function it’s critical to keep your oral appliance clean.

When you wear an oral appliance over night, bacteria from your mouth will stick to the apparatus. Failing to clean off the appliance will lead to bacteria buildup that not only breaks down the material but can also cause discoloration and an unpleasant smell to develop.

Some tablets, kits, and other products are manufactured specifically to clean oral appliances. There are also simple steps you can take at home to keep your appliance clean and functional, including:

  • Floss and brush your teeth before wearing your appliance at night
  • Remove the appliance and rinse it with lukewarm water
  • Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the appliance gently – use liquid soap for additional cleaning
  • Rinse and dry off the appliance
  • Store the appliance in its carrying case when not in use
Toothpastes are not suitable for cleaning an oral appliance. Many brands of toothpaste are abrasive and could damage the apparatus. Hot water can also melt plastic or acrylic components, so be sure to use only room-temperature water.

For more detailed recommendations on using and maintaining your oral appliance, please contact a dentist specializing in sleep medicine or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to find a provider in your local area.

posted by Admin at 1:17 PM