Every Monday morning's calendar begins with ... 'Tighten palate expander.' Ouch! Not something to look forward to, to begin the week. I can feel the increased tension the moment it goes back in ...
Wearing my new dental appliances (a thick, built-up palate expander to even out my top jaw alignment, and Invisalign braces for the lower jaw) has been challenging, to say the least. Mostly because I have sleep apnea, which means I need to use a CPAP machine at night, and my dental devices are also intended to be worn throughout the night. Sleeping next to me is not for the faint of heart 😀 - it's fortunate that we keep our eyes closed!
My sexy nightwear
The palate expander is designed to keep my mouth slightly open and my teeth apart for the time being, but my open mouth results in me snoring loudly and deeply (as if from the bowels of the earth, unlike anything experienced before). My CPAP mask covers both my nose and mouth, so I don't know if it was amplifying the snoring reverberations, or the open mouth and difficulty swallowing was doing it, but it also led to excessive drool pooling up inside my mask! Sleeping with an open mouth made my throat really sore, and my overnight dehydration was obvious when trying to empty my bladder in the morning. Ok, enough of the bodily functions!
In trying to find solutions, I used a chin strap (neoprene headgear with Velcro closings - the maroon item in the photo), as well as all the other paraphernalia on my face. Trying to brush my hair each morning without re-styling with mousse and hairdryer is a daily challenge. The chin strap is sweaty and uncomfortable, even without the CPAP mask and dental appliances, but I tried it for 2 nights, with little improvement. I emailed my dentist to explain my problems, and his suggestion was to try keeping my mouth closed with dental tape! What? I'm not into bondage or kinky stuff like that, so had no idea there was such a thing. I'd tried nasal strips in the past, but the idea of taping my mouth closed blew my mind! It's not a joke - it turns out there is such a product. I haven't got myself to try it out ... yet.
My compromise, instead, has been to wear my palate expander consistently ALL day during the day, instead of the 2 hours in, 2 hours out and not wear it at night at all. It may mean that I have to wear the device for a longer period of time than initially expected, but at least this way we can both sleep in the same bed!