Braces are a widely preferred orthodontics solution for achieving straight teeth in order to get a good bite which is important for good oral and overall health. People who wear traditional metal braces often experience discomfort or irritation initially due to the slightly sharp edges of the braces. They may also face challenges of dealing with broken brackets or loose wires which may scratch the soft tissues inside the mouth. Dental wax or braces wax can be a life-saver in such situations.
What is Dental Wax?
It is mostly made from beeswax, paraffin or carnauba wax and is solid at room temperature. However, the warmth of hands softens it enough so that its application becomes easy. It is clear and hence unnoticeable when applied. It is generally flavorless, but you may find some flavored varieties such as cherry, mint or bubblegum. It is specially formulated to relieve pain, irritation or discomfort which may sometimes be caused by orthodontic devices such as the brackets and wires of braces, ligatures or even partial dentures which have wire clasps. You can also use the dental wax for short-term relief in case of a damaged or chipped tooth.
How to Use Wax on Your Braces?
To use the dental wax on your braces correctly follow these 6 steps:
- Step 1
Brush your teeth carefully and gently to ensure that there are no particles of food stuck in the braces, especially in the area where you wish to apply the wax.
- Step 2
Dry off the braces with a tissue before you start the process of wax application. This is important because a completely dry area ensures that the wax stays on longer.
- Step 3
Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly. Take a small piece of wax and roll it with your fingers into a ball shape. It should be just big enough to cover the piece of wire or bracket which is causing irritation or discomfort to your mouth. Generally, a ball the size of a pea or popcorn kernel is sufficient. Roll the wax for a minimum of 5 seconds. This will soften it and simplify the process of application.
- Step 4
Locate the area which is bothering you. If it’s difficult to see the loose or broken bracket or wire, pull your cheek out and look for swollen or bright red spots. You can also gently probe the insides of your cheeks or gums to find the affected areas.
- Step 5
Press the ball of wax over the wire or bracket bothering you. In case that piece of teeth braces is at the back of your mouth, push as far as you can. Then, withdraw your thumb and take the support of your tongue and forefinger to position the ball of wax.
- Step 6
Rub the wax a couple of times to ensure that it is stuck properly. It should form a small bump.
Other Important Points to Consider while using Orthodontic Wax
- You need to replace the dental wax whenever it starts to come off or twice a day.
- Never leave the wax on for more than two days in a row as food particles get stuck on the wax which may lead to bacterial buildup.
- It is advisable to avoid eating or drinking with the wax in your mouth as it may cause the wax to fall off. Hence, it is best to apply it after you have had your meals and brushed your teeth thoroughly.
If neglected, the sore or irritated areas may become infected and lead to other serious oral health problems. Until you reach your dentist or orthodontist, you can use the dental wax as described above.
10 Frequently Asked Questions About Braces Wax
Dental wax is very important when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you’re wondering what wax for braces is and why you need it when you have teeth braces, the 10 questions answered below will help you.
- Why do I need wax for braces?
The metal brackets and wires in your teeth braces can irritate the soft tissue inside your mouth as they rub against it. Primarily, your tongue and cheek can be sensitive in the first few weeks of your orthodontic treatment. Till you get used to your new teeth braces, dental wax will help you protect your tongue and cheeks from sores and abrasions.
- What is dental wax made of?
Dental wax is a natural wax product that is made of either beeswax, palm wax or paraffin wax. It’s generally made to be almost clear so that it’s unnoticeable. It’s safe to swallow, and though it is tasteless, a few brands of dental wax have flavors added to them.
- Is it safe to eat with dental wax?
● Dental wax is edible, but it can be challenging to eat with the dental wax on your teeth.
● It can stick to your food, and it will taste terrible. So, it is advisable to remove the dental wax before you eat your food.
● If you find it too painful to eat without the dental wax, replace the wax on your braces after your meal.
- Can I drink water with my dental wax on?
Dental wax is harmless if swallowed, but water can loosen the wax and cause it to fall off.
- Do I leave the wax on overnight or do I remove it before bed?
It is alright to sleep with dental wax You can leave it overnight if you think the braces will worsen your injuries when you are sleeping.
- Will the dental wax be noticeable to others when I talk or smile?
Since orthodontic wax is almost transparent, it is hard to notice when you talk or smile.
- Does dental wax taste bad?
Dental wax is tasteless in its natural state. But a few brands of dental wax add flavor to it, like mint to add taste.
- Is there a limit to how many times dental wax should be used?
You can use dental wax as many times as you need during the time of your orthodontic treatment. It is non-toxic and harmless.
- How do I remove dental wax?
Though dental wax peels away on its own, if you want to take it out, you can use your fingers to remove it, or a small, sharp tool like a toothpick. Sometimes you might need to use dental floss.
- Where Can I Buy Orthodontic Wax?
You can purchase orthodontic wax at well-stocked pharmacies, or you can order it online.
Get in touch with your orthodontist immediately if you are experiencing discomfort, pain or soreness due to brackets or wires of your teeth braces.