Oral appliance therapy is a comfortable and convenient alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for sleep apnea treatment. It’s more convenient because it’s easy to care for your oral appliance. When properly cared for, oral appliances can last many years. 

At Excellence in Dentistry, we utilize the ProSomnus oral appliance. Your Anchorage sleep dentist will detail the care for your specific appliance. However, the following guidelines are generally suitable for ProSomnus appliances and can help you understand how easy they are to care for if you’re deciding what sleep apnea treatment is best for you.

Clean Teeth for a Clean Appliance

Ideally, your oral appliance should be in just two places nearly all the time: your mouth or an appropriate storage case (see below). As a result, your mouth is the primary source of potential dirt on your appliance. It’s essential to properly clean your teeth and gums to avoid staining, dirt, and odors on your oral appliance. 

Brush and floss your teeth carefully before putting your appliance in your mouth. Don’t use toothpaste with colorful dyes. Mouthwash is another potential source of staining for your oral appliance. Don’t use mouthwash before putting it in your appliance. If your dentist recommends using mouthwash, find one without dyes or use mouthwash in the morning after you remove your appliance.

How to Clean Your Oral Appliance

The best time to clean your appliance is immediately after removing it in the morning. This will remove bacteria before they have time to colonize your oral appliance and create odors. 

Start by rinsing your appliance in cool or warm water. Never use boiling or hot tap water to clean your appliance–this could warp it. Next, clean your appliance with hand soap and a soft-bristled brush. Antibacterial soap is acceptable but not required. Some appliances come with a specific cleaning brush designed to reach all parts of the appliance, but not ProSomnus appliances. You can use either a toothbrush or a denture cleaning brush. Make sure the brush has soft bristles to avoid damaging your appliance. 

Toothpaste is not recommended for cleaning your appliance. Many toothpastes have abrasive particles. These help toothpaste remove dirt from your teeth but can scratch your oral appliance. Scratches on an oral appliance can accumulate oral bacteria, giving your appliance an unpleasant taste and odor. 

After cleaning, put your appliance in its container to dry. 

Is It Recommended to Soak Your Appliance?

Soaking your oral appliance daily is not recommended by ProSomnus. Once daily cleaning should be enough to avoid staining and odors. 

If you want to soak your appliance occasionally, do not soak it in solutions that could damage it, including:

  • Bleach
  • Mouthwash
  • Denture cleaner
  • Hot or boiling water
  • Cleaners intended for other appliances

We’ve mentioned before that mouthwash can stain your appliance, and hot water can warp it. Other soaks can also damage it. This includes soaks intended for other appliances. These are intended for the specific material used in their designated appliance and may react with the material in your appliance. Since ProSomnus does not recommend regular soaking, they don’t supply a special soak solution.

How to Store Your Appliance

ProSomnus appliances come with cases. If you have the case that came with your appliance, store it there. Otherwise, use a sturdy plastic case with air holes to allow your appliance to dry after cleaning. 

Keep the case in a cool, dry place. Make sure the case is out of reach of children and pets. Direct sunlight and high temperatures (over 140° F) can damage the appliance. This can make a car or truck cab a dangerous place to store your appliance in the summer. If you’re traveling for work or pleasure, store your appliance in a way that keeps it from getting too hot.

Can I Adjust My Oral Appliance?

Yes! If you aren’t getting good sleep or your oral appliance is uncomfortable, you can adjust the appliance by following the directions in your user guide. 

Use caution when adjusting your appliance, as this can affect the quality of your results. Consider asking for help adjusting your appliance at first. Later, when you are familiar with the appliance and understand how to operate it proficiently, you can feel confident adjusting it independently. 

Can I Repair My Oral Appliance?

No. Do not attempt to repair your oral appliance. The materials available for home repair of an oral appliance can be toxic. Further, an appliance that you repaired might no longer work correctly. It may not effectively treat your sleep apnea or lead to bite or jaw problems due to poor fit. 

Contact Excellence in Dentistry if your oral appliance breaks. We will help you determine if the appliance can be repaired or will need replacement.

Comfortable and Convenient Oral Appliance Therapy

If you’re looking for a more comfortable and convenient way to treat sleep apnea than CPAP, let the sleep dentists at Excellence in Dentistry help. We can evaluate you for oral appliance therapy and recommend the best one for you. 

Please call (907) 349-0022 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Excellence in Dentistry in Anchorage.