Sleep apnea affects millions of people worldwide, and its often treated by CPAP therapy. Orthodontics has been used to try and improve the side effects of sleep apnea, but many people with braces wonder if they can use a CPAP machine while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Here is what you need to know and some tips for CPAP users with braces.
What is CPAP Therapy?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is a sleep apnea treatment involving wearing a mask over the nose or mouth while sleeping. The mask is attached to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the airway, which helps keep the airway open and prevents the pauses in breathing that characterize sleep apnea.
Can You Wear a CPAP Mask with Braces?
The short answer is yes, you can wear a CPAP mask with braces. However, there are some considerations to remember to ensure that the mask fits properly and does not cause discomfort or damage to the mounts or wires.
This is especially true for individuals in the early stages of orthodontic treatment who have not yet fully secured the pieces.
A correctly fitting mask is essential to prevent this. Finding the right size and mask style that works best for you may require some trial and error, and it may be helpful to work with your orthodontist to ensure that the braces are adjusted to minimize the risk of damage from CPAP therapy.
Tips for Wearing a CPAP Mask
If you are using a CPAP mask with braces, there are some tips you can follow to help ensure that the mask fits properly and does not cause discomfort or damage to your mounts or wires.
- Choose the correct type of mask: There are several types of CPAP masks available, including nasal masks, full-face masks, and nasal pillows. Trying out different types of masks may be helpful to see which one works best for you. A nasal mask or pads may be better since they do not cover the mouth.
- Adjust the mask properly: It is essential to adjust the CPAP mask properly to ensure it fits snugly but not too tight. If the mask is too tight, it could cause discomfort or damage. If it is too loose, it may not provide the necessary pressure to keep the airway open.
- Use a mask liner: A mask liner can help protect the skin and prevent irritation or pressure sores caused by the mask. This can be especially helpful for individuals with dental appliances, who may be more susceptible to skin irritation.
- Clean the mask regularly: To prevent the buildup of bacteria or other irritants, cleaning the CPAP mask periodically is essential. This is especially important for individuals with dental appliances, who may be more prone to dental issues if bacteria accumulate around the braces.
- Work with your orthodontist: Your orthodontist can guide how to adjust your braces to minimize the risk of damage from the CPAP mask. They may also have specific recommendations for the mask or liner type.
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