Once you have received a concrete diagnosis from a sleep physician, it’s time to find the right treatment that provides relief from your symptoms and helps you rest easily throughout the night. In most cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea, the condition can be treated with a customized oral appliance.
What Is OAT?
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An oral appliance fits over your teeth like a nightguard while you sleep and supports your jaw in a forward position to keep your airway open. A custom-fit oral appliance can improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health.
How Does OAT Work?
An oral appliance repositions the lower jaw and tongue physically, thereby reducing the chances of airway blockage during sleep and virtually eliminating snoring and other symptoms of sleep apnea.
What Are The Benefits of OAT?
There are many types of sleep appliances to choose from. Dr. Wilmer determines the best oral appliance for you based on the severity of your sleep apnea and any preferences or concerns that you may have. No matter which custom device you receive, all oral appliances have benefits that outweigh other treatment options, such as CPAP and surgical interventions. These benefits include:
Since your oral appliance is customized to you and fits like a retainer, it’s more comfortable and easier to wear than a CPAP mask that’s connected to a machine – especially for those who change positions during sleep.
A CPAP machine’s motor constantly runs during the night, which might not help you or your bed partner sleep soundly. An oral appliance is a silent option that can minimize the symptoms of sleep apnea and/or loud snoring.
A compact, lightweight oral appliance is much easier to travel with than a bulky CPAP machine that requires electricity, which people often decide not to take with them at all. Your oral appliance can fit in the palm of your hand, making it easy to travel with and allowing you to keep your sleep routine wherever you go.
Cleaning a CPAP machine can be a hassle and takes time. Cleaning and caring for an oral appliance is easy. Just a toothbrush cleaning with mild soap will keep your appliance fresh and clean.
After wearing a custom oral appliance, patients report a significant reduction in symptoms.
The cost of a custom oral appliance is typically less than a CPAP machine.
Treating sleep apnea promotes a healthier heart, body, and mind.
How Do I Maintain My Oral Appliance?
Brush your teeth before using your appliance.
It’s important to make sure your teeth are clean before putting in your sleep appliance so that plaque and bacteria don’t build up and grow on your oral appliance.
After taking your appliance out in the morning, brush it with a toothbrush and clear antibacterial soap.
After you brush your teeth, it’s time to brush your oral appliance! Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear antibacterial soap that does not contain microbeads to clean it. Microbeads and toothpaste can scratch the surface of your appliance, leaving areas that are easy for bacteria to adhere to.
Let your appliance air dry!
Allowing your appliance some room to breathe will help cut down on the ability of bacteria to grow on it.
Two to three times a week, soak your appliance in a denture or orthodontic cleaning solution.
A denture or orthodontic cleaner will give your appliance a deep clean that your day-to-day routine can’t provide. Let your appliance soak for a bit, then rinse it and let it dry to maintain the cleanest oral appliance.
Bring your appliance to your dental appointments to have it cleaned professionally!
GET BETTER SLEEP TODAY
Your good night’s sleep is waiting! Book an appointment today and we’ll help you get back to better sleep habits.