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A Step-by-step Guide to Cleaning Your Oral Appliance

by | Nov 11, 2022

A sleep apnea oral appliance is a viable long-term solution for a better night’s sleep. However, the device requires daily cleaning. The surface area of the device is susceptible to bacteria buildup over time. Cleaning instructions may differ slightly depending on the exact device used.

Why You Need to Clean Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Daily

When you use the device, oral bacteria will make its way onto the surface. It’s good oral hygiene to clean the device that you intend on using on a nightly basis. Due to time constraints, some people may be tempted to just give the device a quick rinse. To fully remove bacteria, though, it’s important to follow the cleaning instructions outlined below and not skip any steps.

How NOT to Clean Your Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance

Regardless of your oral appliance’s brand or model, there are certain cleaning missteps you should avoid to prevent damage to the device.

  • Do not use boiling water on the appliance to kill bacteria. The extremely high temperature will cause the appliance to soften and warp. This can affect its fitting in your mouth, making it uncomfortable to wear.
  • You should not attempt to kill bacteria by using bleach.
  • While cleaning the oral appliance with a toothbrush is fine, NEVER use toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive and can scratch the appliance surface.
  • Refrain from using ultraviolet or ultrasonic rays. Oral appliances are made from acrylic, and UV or US rays can cause the material to become brittle.
  • Do not use the same toothbrush you use for brushing your teeth. Get a new brush solely for cleaning the appliance.

Cleaning Instructions for SomnoMed Avant™

Clean your SomnoMed Avant oral appliance daily using SomTabs® cleaning tablets. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions:

  1. Fill the device’s travel kit with water. The water should be lukewarm but not hot.
  2. Insert one SomTabs tablet into the water and let it completely dissolve.
  3. Remove the strap from the oral appliance. Rotate the strap until it’s upright and remove starting from the right hinge. Repeat with the left hinge.
  4. Slide the strap around until the clip is at the white end, and then pull it out of the clip.
  5. Place the device into the travel case. The device should be fully submerged.
  6. Let the device sit for 15 minutes.
  7. During the 15 minutes, clean the strap by running it through cold water and then drying it with a towel.
  8. Remove the oral appliance. If there are still portions of the cleaning tablet, discard it.
  9. Run the device through water while brushing the corners and other hard-to-reach areas with a toothbrush.
  10. Dry the device using a clean cloth or towel.

Cleaning Instructions for Herbst Appliance

Follow these steps to clean your Herbst Appliance every morning:

  1. Brush the device gently with the brush provided or a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  2. Rinse the device with cool or warm water.
  3. Dry the device using a clean towel and place it in its storage case.

In addition to the above steps, we also recommend weekly cleaning using SomTabs. Follow the cleaning instructions for SomnoMed Avant™. SomTabs cleaning tablets are formulated for use on most oral appliances. With the device, though, comes daily cleaning requirements. Please follow all cleaning instructions outlined above or in the owner user manual to keep the device free of harmful bacteria.

Cleaning Instructions for Prosomnus

Clean the Prosomnus device first thing in the morning upon removal from your mouth.

  1. Scrub the device using a toothbrush and use a mild detergent, such as liquid soap or device cleaners intended for orthodontic devices. However, do not use toothpaste or other abrasive materials. Be especially sure to brush hard-to-reach areas.
  2. Run the device through mildly cold or warm water.
  3. Rinse the device and store it in its case, which contains air holes.

Clean Your Teeth Before Using Oral Appliance

Brushing and flossing your teeth is just as important as cleaning your oral appliance. Always ensure that your teeth are clean before putting in your oral appliance to prevent discoloration of the appliance and reduce your risk of developing oral health issues, such as gum disease and cavities.

See also: BiPAP, CPAP Mask Recall: What You Need to Know

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are looking for other CPAP alternatives in Lafayette, LA, an oral appliance may be right for you. To see if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy, take SleepWell Louisiana’s sleep assessment today. We can help assess your symptoms and find the right treatment for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders you might have.

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