Your braces are on now and you are getting used to having brackets and wires in your mouth. The discomfort has been minimal and you have controlled it with occasional over-the-counter pain relievers. Above all, you are excited that you’re on the road to having the beautiful smile you have always wanted!
There may be times when the braces or clear aligners rub inside your mouth. It’s minor but it can be bothersome, so your orthodontist has probably instructed you to use braces wax to provide relief. This is all new to you and maybe you’re not sure how to use this wax or even where to get it.
Don’t worry, this article will answer all those questions! We’ve broken down what braces wax is exactly and offer some tips and tricks on using it properly.
What is Braces Wax Exactly & How Does It Work?
Braces wax, also referred to as dental wax or orthodontic wax, is a pliable natural wax that is usually made out of beeswax, carnauba, paraffin, or microcrystalline. It is non-toxic, safe to use, and doesn’t harm the braces, all of which are important.
Braces made of metal or clear ceramic brackets have metal wires running across the surface of your teeth. If you are using clear aligners, they are molded trays that fit over your teeth. With either kind of orthodontic appliance, there can be rubbing and irritation of the soft tissue inside the mouth. This is especially true at first because your mouth isn’t used to these devices. Dental wax will help while the first areas affected are toughened up a bit and also whenever your braces are tightened or the clear aligner is changed.
The wax is designed to create a barrier against any pinching or rubbing inside your mouth caused by the metal brackets and wires or the edges of clear aligners. In this way, the wax prevents further injury to your cheeks, lips, and tongue while also providing time for any minor rawness to heal.
10 Tips for Using Dental Wax Effectively
As you begin your journey with braces or clear aligners, your orthodontist will discuss the use of dental wax as your mouth gets used to hardware taking up space. The orthodontist’s office will probably provide the wax but it is also available in pharmacies or other large retail outlets when you run out.
Here are some pro tips to ensure you use your braces wax correctly.
Wash Your Hands
Use soap and wash your hands thoroughly. This will keep bacteria from being transferred from your hands to the wax and then to your mouth. The braces or aligners may have broken or scraped the skin in your mouth so you don’t want the bacteria to get into these areas and lead to infections.
Brush Your Teeth Before Placing the Wax
Brush your teeth before using any wax. You want your teeth to be as clean as possible, with no food particles hiding in your mouth. You don’t want the wax to add to bacteria buildup by trapping food against your braces. The wax will also stay cleaner longer if it starts in a clean mouth.
Use Small Pieces of Wax
You only need about a pea-sized portion of wax to cover the area in your mouth that is irritated. You will waste wax by using too much because the excess will only fall off.
Warm The Wax Up First
The wax will be stiff when it comes out of its container, so roll a small amount between your fingers until it is warmed up and more pliable. This will make it easier to place it where you want it.
Dry the Area In Your Mouth Before Placing the Wax
Using a soft cloth, dry the area inside your mouth where you will be placing the wax. This will allow the wax to properly stick to where it should be.
Replace the Wax in Your Mouth Frequently
The general rule is to replace the wax twice a day. Of course, if it falls off, replace it with new wax. Don’t ever reuse wax. You don’t want to contaminate your mouth with bacteria from old, dirty wax.
Change Wax After Eating
Your mouth may be too sore or irritated to eat without the wax protecting the affected areas as you chew. If that is the case, remove the wax after you are done eating and replace it with clean wax.
Frequently Check Your Mouth For Any Problem Areas
Make it a habit to check your mouth for bright red, tender, or swollen areas, including the cheeks and lips. This will catch any minor problem areas before they become infected. Use the wax as much as you need to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Don’t worry about using it too often.
Keep the Wax in Overnight
You can leave the wax in place during the night. This gives your mouth more time to heal. Make sure to replace it in the morning with new wax after you brush your teeth. And don’t worry if the wax falls off and you accidentally swallow it while sleeping. It is non-toxic and will not harm you.
Don’t Adjust Wires or Brackets or Bend Aligners Yourself
It’s tempting to try and adjust a wire or bracket yourself that is rubbing or irritating your mouth. Don’t do it! If you’ve been using the wax and you are still in pain, contact your orthodontist right away. They can make the adjustments you need quickly and without harming the braces.
Dental Wax Is An Essential Tool for Your Braces or Aligners
Your braces or clear aligners will give you the smile of your dreams. And even though the process may be periodically uncomfortable along the way, the end result lasts a lifetime! Dental wax is an essential tool in alleviating the irritation you might experience during your braces treatment. It is safe, natural, easy to use, and inexpensive.