If you’re just starting your journey with braces, it’s natural to need help understanding the purpose of dental wax for braces.
Unlike candle wax or similar substances, dental wax is clear, pliable, and made of natural materials that are safe for your mouth. If you’re experiencing any soreness or your mouth has any lesions, applying a bit of wax can make a world of difference to both your hygiene and comfort.
Here is everything you need to know about dental wax, including how to use dental wax!
What is dental wax?
Dental wax is made from natural wax materials like beeswax, paraffin wax, or carnauba. There are also synthetic kinds of wax with properties similar to paraffin that are also available. Dental wax products can be found under many different names, including tooth wax, braces wax, relief wax, and orthodontic relief wax.
Dental wax for braces is soft and malleable and can be used to smooth out any sharp or roughened edges in your appliance. Because it is natural and non-toxic, it is safe to be in your mouth; dental wax won’t damage your braces.
How does orthodontic wax help with braces discomfort?
While your braces system is busy working to perfect your smile, you may notice some areas of tenderness or discomfort in your mouth, particularly in the early days of treatment.
This irritation is often due to metal wires, brackets or edges of aligners rubbing against the insides of your cheeks and lips. You will likely notice this irritation subside over time when these soft areas are toughened, but until then, orthodontic wax comes to the rescue!
Dental wax can be applied to create a smooth protective barrier between your mouth and any surface of your braces that is causing discomfort.
Similarly, dental wax can be an excellent at-home remedy for relief and protection when a wire has come out of a place, a bracket has popped off, or a jagged edge irritates your mouth. Applying a bit of dental wax can temporarily hold components in place or act as a protective barrier until our skilled orthodontists can correct the issue.
What to do if dental wax doesn’t help?
It’s normal to feel some discomfort as your orthodontic system gently moves your teeth into place. However, if you have tried applying orthodontic wax to a sensitive area but you’re still experiencing discomfort, try these remedies:
- Use a Dental Pain Eraser™ to stop pain instantly. Hess Orthodontics is Tampa’s exclusive Dental Pain Eraser provider.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers (as directed) or using a cold compress can help to relieve any soreness or swelling.
- Ingesting cold drinks and foods like ice cream
- Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can relieve soreness and help clean your mouth simultaneously.
That being said, if your pain or irritation doesn’t improve after a few days, you should contact Hess Orthodontics. We can help make the right adjustments to your braces or aligners that will make them more comfortable.
How to apply wax to braces
Here’s a quick guide to applying braces wax:
- Be sure to brush your teeth and wash your hands before starting!
- Take a piece of wax about the size of a pea and roll it into a ball in your hands.
- Flatten the ball into a disc once the wax softens in your hands.
- Place the wax disc onto the jagged or rough area you wish to cover and use a little pressure to ensure it sticks.
- If any wax separates or peels away, apply more to ensure the uncomfortable area is covered.
It’s safe to eat and drink as usual when using braces wax. Though it’s not ideal because the wax is non-toxic, it’s perfectly fine if you accidentally swallow a little bit.
Remember, braces wax is good for providing relief for orthodontic issues, but those effects are only temporary. For solutions to your discomfort, it’s important to get in contact with us right away.
The do’s and don’ts of dental wax
- Wash your hands and brush your teeth before application to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Warm up the wax in your hand to make it earlier to work with and apply.
- Dry off the area you wish to apply wax to; the drier it is, the easier it will stick.
- Replace the wax at least once a day.
- Keep the wax in overnight — keeping it in will allow sores or wounds to heal for longer.
- Don’t reuse wax: reusing dental wax is unhygienic and can allow bacteria to spread.
- Don’t overuse wax — a little goes a long way!
- Don’t try and fix braces components yourself — dental wax is a good solution for holding elements in place until you can be seen by one of our orthodontists, but don’t try and correct your braces system yourself!
- Never cut wires or adjust your brackets. Doing so can complicate your issue even more.
How loose brackets happen and how to fix them
Need dental wax guidance? Contact Hess Orthodontics today
Dental treatments come with many questions and can be a bit uncomfortable, especially in the beginning. Whether you’re just beginning your journey with braces or if you’re returning to get follow-up alignment assistance, the smile specialists at Hess Orthodontics are here to help you! We are here to help make your experience as comfortable as possible.
If you have any questions about braces wax — or any part of your smile journey — our team of oral health professionals are here for you anytime!