Congratulations on choosing oral appliance therapy from the Michigan Head & Neck Institute to treat your obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to great comfort and effectiveness, oral appliance therapy can be less expensive than CPAP treatment. That’s because your oral appliance if properly cared for, can last a long time with no need to replace components like masks and hoses. Even better, your oral appliance is simple to care for. 

Your Detroit sleep dentist likely gave you specific instructions related to your oral appliance, but if you’ve lost those, these general instructions can serve until your next appointment. 

Clean Teeth Help Keep Your Appliance Clean

Your oral appliance mostly gets dirty because of what’s on your teeth. This means you can help it stay clean by cleaning your teeth thoroughly before inserting your appliance. Carefully brush and floss your teeth. Ideally, you should use toothpaste that doesn’t contain dyes, as these could stain your appliance. 

Don’t use mouthwash before using your oral appliance. The chemicals in mouthwash can stain or damage your oral appliance. If your dentist recommends mouthwash for your oral health, use it in the morning after you take out your appliance. 

Cleaning Your Appliance

After you remove your oral appliance in the morning, rinse and clean it. Rinse your appliance with cool or warm water. Never put your oral appliance in boiling water. Use a brush and hand soap to clean your appliance. The soap can be antibacterial soap or not, and it can be either a soft soap or you can use the brush to get soap from a bar. 

Use the brush your sleep dentist supplied to clean your appliance, and if you don’t have one, a soft-bristled toothbrush works, too. It can be an old toothbrush whose bristles are too bent to effectively clean your teeth. However, some people find a denture-cleaning brush works better. The bristles are a different shape, and you might find this makes it easier to clean your appliance. 

Don’t use toothpaste to clean your appliance. Toothpaste includes abrasive particles that will scratch the appliance. Scratches will make your appliance look dull, and they can shelter oral bacteria, which can cause your appliance to develop an unpleasant odor and taste. The scratches can even change the fit of your appliance. 

After cleaning, rinse your appliance one last time, then put it in a container with air holes to ensure it dries fully. 

To Soak or Not to Soak Your Appliance

Some manufacturers recommend soaking your appliance to help clean it. If so, they will usually provide cleaners specific to your appliance. Don’t soak your appliance in:

  • Hot water, especially boiling water
  • Mouthwash
  • Bleach
  • Denture cleaners

These might damage your appliance. 

Storing Your Oral Appliance

If possible, you should store your appliance in the case you were given. Put the case in a cool, dry place. Keep the device out of direct sunlight, and make sure it isn’t exposed to temperatures in excess of 140° F. 

Considering Oral Appliance Therapy in Detroit?

If you haven’t yet selected oral appliance therapy to treat your obstructive sleep apnea, the sleep dentists at the Michigan Head & Neck Institute can help. We can answer all your questions about the treatment so you can decide if it’s right for you. 

Please call (586) 573-0438 or use our online form to request an appointment at the Michigan Head & Neck Institute, serving the Detroit area from Warren, MI.