When braces are first placed or adjusted, the pointy ends can cause irritation or sore spots on the lips, cheeks, and tongue. Applying dental wax to the brackets, wires, or other parts of the appliance helps to take the edge off by creating a barrier between it and the soft tissues of the mouth, which in turn eliminates any irritation and discomfort.
Dental wax can also be used to cover sharp or poking edges of the appliance, preventing them from scratching or cutting or hurting the inside of the mouth.
As such, your orthodontist may give you dental wax when straightening your teeth with braces to help you manage any discomfort and make the adjustment period more comfortable.
What is wax for braces?
Dental wax is a soft, pliable material that is commonly given to orthodontic patients to alleviate discomfort caused by braces or other dental appliances rubbing against the soft tissues in your mouth.
The wax is typically made of a non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable material, such as paraffin or beeswax that is safe to use orally.
It is usually applied to the brackets and wires, creating a barrier between the metal and the soft tissues of the mouth, which helps prevent irritation, soreness, and cuts.
How to use wax for braces
Dental wax for braces provides a simple and effective way to alleviate discomfort caused by braces rubbing against the soft tissues of your mouth.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it effectively and efficiently:
Step 1: Clean and dry the affected area
Before using wax, make sure the area around your braces is clean and dry. Use a toothbrush or inter-dental brush to clean around the brackets and wires.
Step 2: Take a small piece of wax
Cut a small piece of wax, about the size of a pea, and roll it into a ball. The wax is typically solid at room temperature, though you can easily soften it by squeezing and rolling it with your fingers for about 5 seconds.
Step 3: Flatten the wax
Press the ball of wax against your fingers to flatten it.
Step 4: Apply the wax to the affected area
Gently press the flattened wax onto the bracket or wire that is causing the irritation. Make sure the wax completely covers the sharp or rough spot.
Step 5: Repeat if necessary
If you still feel discomfort, you can apply more wax as needed.
Step 6: Remove the wax before eating or brushing your teeth
Remember to remove the wax before eating or brushing your teeth. You can easily do this by gently peeling it off with your fingers or using a toothbrush. Although the wax is completely safe and edible, it can make eating a bit of a challenge since food may stick to it.
So if you choose to leave it on when eating, make sure to reapply after finishing your meal, so your smile doesn’t show food particles stuck to your teeth.
NB: Using wax is a temporary solution to relieve discomfort caused by braces. If you continue to experience pain or irritation, you should consult your orthodontist.
Where to buy wax for braces
You can buy wax for braces directly from your orthodontist, or at most drugstores, supermarkets, and online retailers. It is typically sold over-the-counter and does not require a prescription from your orthodontist.
There are many different brands of dental wax available, so you may want to try a few to find one that works best for you.
Some popular brands include:
1. GUM Ortho Wax
This is a type of dental wax that is commonly used during orthodontic treatment. It is made of medical-grade paraffin wax and is designed to help relieve irritation and discomfort caused by orthodontic appliances such as braces and wires. GUM Ortho Wax is easy to apply and remove, and it is transparent in color, making it almost invisible on the teeth.
2. Brace Relief
This dental wax is used during orthodontic treatment. It is made of soft and pliable silicone and is designed to help relieve discomfort and irritation caused by braces, wires, and other orthodontic appliances. Brace Relief is easy to apply, and it adheres well to the teeth and appliances, providing long-lasting relief.
3. Dental Orthodontic Wax
This dental wax is specifically designed for use during orthodontic treatment. It is made of medical-grade paraffin wax and is used to cover and protect the brackets and wires of orthodontic appliances, preventing them from irritating the cheeks and gums. Dental Orthodontic Wax is easy to apply and remove, and it is transparent in color.
Dental wax with pain relief
Orthodontic treatment can sometimes cause pain and discomfort in the mouth due to friction between the braces and the oral tissue. Currently, orthodontists give wax to patients to cover the braces as a way to prevent irritation, but the wax doesn’t contain any pain relieving components.
However, there is a new type of wax that contains a pain reliever called benzocaine, which is slowly released over time. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic that provides rapid pain relief by numbing the area where it’s applied to. Patients who use this medicated wax often report experiencing significantly lower pain than those using regular wax, and it continues to reduce pain over time.
Orajel Dental Gel Benzocaine 10% w/w 5.3g
This is a dental gel that contains benzocaine, a local anesthetic that can help to numb the gums and relieve pain caused by dental procedures or conditions such as toothaches, teething, and canker sores. Orajel Dental Gel is easy to apply and is designed to provide fast and effective pain relief. However, it should be used only as directed and not swallowed.
When should I use dental wax?
Dental wax can be used whenever the brackets or wires of your braces are causing irritation to the soft tissues inside your mouth. This can include times when your braces are first put on, after adjustments, or when a wire is poking or rubbing against your cheek or gums.
How often should I use dental wax?
You can use dental wax as often as needed to relieve discomfort from your braces. Some people may need to use it more frequently than others, depending on how sensitive their mouth is to the braces.
How do I remove orthodontic wax from my braces?
To remove orthodontic wax from your braces, use a toothbrush to gently brush the wax away. If there is still some wax remaining, you can use dental floss or a toothpick to gently scrape it off.
Can I drink or eat while wearing dental wax?
Yes, you can eat and drink while wearing dental wax. However, you should avoid chewing gum, as it can stick to the wax and pull it off your braces. So it’s recommended to remove before eating and reapply afterwards.
Can I reuse orthodontic wax?
Orthodontic wax is meant to be a single-use product, so it’s not recommended to reuse it. Instead, you should use a fresh piece of wax each time you need to apply it.
How long can you leave dental wax in your mouth?
You can leave dental wax in your mouth for as long as it provides relief from discomfort. However, you should replace it as needed to maintain its effectiveness and hygiene.
How much does dental wax for braces cost?
The cost of dental wax for braces can vary depending on the brand and where you purchase it. Generally, it is an inexpensive product that can be found at most drugstores or online retailers.
What do I do if I swallow dental wax?
If you accidentally swallow dental wax, it is generally considered safe and will pass through your digestive system without any issues. However, if you experience any unusual symptoms or discomfort, you should contact a healthcare professional for advice.
It’s a good idea to keep a supply of dental wax or alternatives on hand if you have braces, as it can help alleviate discomfort from brackets and wires rubbing against your cheeks, lips, and tongue. If you are unsure how to use the wax or how much to apply, your orthodontist or dental professional can show you.