Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that leads to breathing complications during sleep. Two common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and feeling tired even after a full night’s rest.
There is three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Central sleep apnea
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome
If you have been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea or you are thinking about improving your sleep by treating your obstructive sleep apnea, then you will need an apnea guard. An apnea guard is an oral appliance that works by moving the lower jaw slightly forward to prevent the soft throat muscle from collapsing the airway and blocking the airflow.
If you already own a mouth guard for sleep apnea (obstructive & complex) and want tips on how to keep it clean, here are a few:
1. Clean your oral appliance in the morning
To keep your appliance clean, you should clean it twice a day – morning & night. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild toothpaste and gently scrub the device. Take your time and try to reach into every nook and cranny of the guard to ensure it’s thoroughly cleaned. This will remove any bacterial buildups and prevent your appliance from developing a foul odor.
2. Brush your teeth before wearing your mouthguard
This is because trapped food particles can stay in your unbrushed mouth overnight. As a result, bacterial accumulation can put your teeth and gums at risk by causing cavities and other oral infections. So, make sure you never miss your night brushing session before putting the mouthguard on.
3. Rinse the mouthguard thoroughly
Another common mistake most patients make is forgetting to rinse the mouthguard. You should rinse and dry your oral sleep apnea appliance before putting it inside your mouth. Rinsing will wash away any food particles adhered to the appliance so that it doesn’t end up contacting your teeth.
4. Dip it into solution
You should soak your oral appliance in a denture cleaning solution once every week. Or you can use denture cleaning tablets that are available in your local pharmacy. Fill a container with water, drop a few tablets and let them dissolve. Then put the appliance in the solution and let it soak for a few minutes before taking it out.
5. Air dry the mouthguard
Once you’ve brushed your teeth and soaked your mouthguard, it’s time to let your appliance breathe. You shouldn’t keep your wet appliance in a closed space to avoid bacteria and yeast.
Oral Appliance Therapy in NC
Simply taking these five measures to add years to your dental appliance and keep your oral hygiene healthy.
If you are in desperate need of oral appliance therapy, visit our clinic. At Icard & Strein Family Dentistry, we take a comprehensive approach that includes oral appliance therapy to protect your teeth and overall health.
We provide services such as:
- Custom Athletic Mouthguards
- Nightguards for Bruxism and TMJ
- Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring
- Sleep Apnea Treatment
Our Harrisburg NC Dentist Office
To learn more about dental treatments from Icard & Strein Family Dentistry, or to schedule an appointment, call our Harrisburg, NC dental office today at 704.455.5003.