How to Avoid Permanent Side Effects of Oral Appliance Therapy

*The Two Main Side Effects of Oral Appliance Therapy are:

1. The teeth moving apart, resulting in spaces between the teeth

2. The lower jaw moving in to a different position, resulting in the teeth not lining up well anymore.

*Avoiding these side effects is simple, but involves a DAILY procedure.

Every night before bed you should FLOSS YOUR TEETH.  The feeling of passing the floss between your teeth should ALWAYS FEEL THE SAME BEFORE BED, or at least it shouldn’t go from “difficult” (as in the spaces between the teeth are tight) to “easy” (as in the spaces are getting bigger).  If you feel that a couple of nights in a row that the spaces between your teeth might be changing, GIVE US A CALL.

*Second, every night before bed you should CHECK YOUR BITE.  You’ve probably never given it much thought, but your teeth fit together in a very specific way.  You’ll immediately notice that in the morning after wearing your oral appliance that your bite will feel “weird” or “off.”  This is to be expected, as your lower jaw is held in a different position all night long, and it takes a bit for your jaw position to return to normal.  For most of our patients their jaw will go back to normal on it’s on within an hour or twoYou can speed up this process with simple stretching exercises or using the “AM aligner” that you were given.

*However, every night before bed you should tap your teeth together to make sure that your bite ALWAYS FEELS THE SAME BEFORE BED.  If you feel that your teeth are not coming together the way they used to (usually meaning that your back teeth don’t touch as well), and this occurs for a day or two, GIVE US A CALL.

*If you ignore these simple steps you could have permanent changes to your teeth or bite that may require correction at additional costs, may result in damage to your teeth, or pain in your teeth or jaws.  Should you have any questions at all, please call us.

707 292-6462    RICHARD SELLMAN, DDS

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