Braces are vital in the journey toward a flawless smile but are not without challenges. The discomfort caused by the wires pressing against the gums can be a nagging problem for many, often leaving them searching for an effective solution. Enter dental wax – a small yet powerful ally in the quest for dental comfort. Made from natural waxes such as beeswax or carnauba wax, this safe, natural, and easy-to-use product can significantly alleviate the discomfort caused by braces.
Dental wax creates a protective buffer between your gums and the metal edges of the braces. Its unique properties allow it to remain solid at room temperature but soft enough to be shaped by the warmth of your hands. Once applied, it sticks to the braces, providing a smooth surface that reduces irritation and discomfort. As it breaks down, it harmlessly flakes away or peels off, ensuring its usage is as non-intrusive as possible.
Applying dental wax is a straightforward process. Begin by washing your hands and brushing your teeth. Then, take a small piece of wax, about the size of a pea, and roll it into a ball. Flatten this slightly and gently apply it to the problematic area of the braces. You can even use your tongue to adjust the wax if necessary. Replace the wax every two days or as needed, and remember to remove it before brushing your teeth.
Dental wax is a simple yet highly effective tool that can make the journey toward a perfect smile less uncomfortable. If you’re new to braces and finding the experience a bit challenging, don’t despair. Just reach for your little box of dental wax and brace yourself for relief.
- 1 What is Dental Wax?
- 2 How to Apply Wax on Braces
- 3 Taking Care of Your Braces With Wax
- 4 Concluding Thoughts on Dental Wax for Braces
- 5 FAQ
What is Dental Wax?
Dental wax, also known as orthodontic wax, is a special type used primarily in orthodontics for patients with braces. It’s used to alleviate the discomfort that can arise due to the metal brackets and wires of the braces pressing against the gums and inside of the mouth, causing irritation or even sores. Dental wax is a barrier between the braces and the mouth’s soft tissues, relieving and preventing pain.
Orthodontic wax is primarily composed of natural waxes, but its exact composition can vary. Some common natural waxes used in its manufacture include beeswax and carnauba wax. Some products may use microcrystalline or paraffin wax derived from petroleum. Other ingredients may be added for texture or flavor, such as mint. Importantly, all the components of dental wax are safe and non-toxic, which makes it safe to be used in the mouth. Even if a bit of wax is accidentally swallowed, it poses no harm to the patient.
The unique properties of dental wax make it suited for braces. The wax is solid at room temperature but can be shaped and softened by the warmth of your hands. When applied to the braces, the wax adheres to the metal, creating a smooth buffer between the brackets and the gums. Over time, the wax harmlessly peels off or flakes away as it breaks down in the mouth.
Applying dental wax to braces involves a few simple steps. First, the hands should be thoroughly washed, and all the teeth should be brushed. A piece of wax, about the size of a small pea, is then pinched off and rolled into a ball. The warmth of the hands softens the wax, and then it is gently pushed onto the problem area of the braces. The wax can also be adjusted with the help of the tongue if necessary. It should be replaced if the wax becomes dirty or food gets stuck. Dental wax should be replaced every two days but can be worn overnight.
Care and Maintenance
Even with dental wax applied, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene. The wax can be removed to brush the teeth twice a day, and floss or an interdental cleaning device can be used to clean between the teeth. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash will help to strengthen the teeth while wearing braces. If the dental wax runs out, more can be easily obtained from a pharmacy or an orthodontist.
Use with Different Types of Braces
Dental wax can be used with different braces, but the need and frequency of use might vary. For example, when a person first gets braces, they might need to use more wax as the inside of the mouth can be more irritated. Over time, the skin on the inside of the mouth may toughen up, reducing the need for wax. Some modern braces, such as Damon Braces, use a self-ligating system that holds the wire without needing elastic ties. These braces might cause less irritation and require less dental wax use. However, every patient’s experience can differ, so it’s always important to consult an orthodontist for personalized advice.
How to Apply Wax on Braces
Braces can sometimes cause discomfort due to wires pressing against the gums. In such situations, dental wax can be used to alleviate the discomfort and prevent pain. Dental wax is a special product designed to protect the gums from the harsh metal edges of braces, relieving any scratchy or uncomfortable feeling caused by the braces.
What is Dental Wax Made Of?
Dental wax is made from natural waxes, such as beeswax or carnauba wax. Some products are made from microcrystalline or paraffin wax derived from petroleum. It can sometimes contain extra ingredients for texture and flavor, such as mint. Despite these different compositions, it’s important to note that all orthodontic wax is designed to be safe and natural for use in the mouth. Even if a patient accidentally ingests a small amount of wax, it is not harmful.
How Does Dental Wax Work?
Dental wax works by creating a buffer between the braces and the gums. It is solid at room temperature but can be softened and shaped by the warmth of your hands. When applied to the braces, it sticks to them and remains smooth in the mouth. Over time, dental wax harmlessly flakes away or peels off as it breaks down. This unique property makes it a perfect solution for protecting your gums from the metal edges of braces.
Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Dental Wax
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply dental wax:
- Wash your hands: Start by ensuring your hands are clean. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them. This step is important to avoid bringing bacteria into your mouth, especially if you have a cut or sore.
- Brush your teeth: Before applying the wax, brush all your teeth, focusing on removing any food stuck in the braces where you plan to apply the wax.
- Shape the wax: Take a small piece of wax about the size of a pea. Squeeze and roll it into a ball using your thumb and forefinger. The warmth from your fingers will soften it and make molding around the brace or wire easier. Flatten the ball slightly to cover more area if needed. Be careful not to use too much wax, as it may result in it falling off.
- Apply the wax: Gently push the wax onto the problem area of the braces. You can also use your tongue to adjust the wax if needed. The wax should stick to the braces and create a buffer between the brackets and the gums, relieving discomfort.
Dental Wax Maintenance and Replacement
Dental wax can be worn overnight and should be replaced as needed. It is advisable to replace the wax every two days. While you can eat and drink with wax applied, remove it if food gets stuck or the wax gets dirty. To maintain good oral hygiene, remove the wax before brushing your teeth, and clean the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. After brushing, you can reapply the wax as needed.
Special Considerations for Different Types of Braces
Some braces, such as Damon Braces, use a patented system with brackets that open and close like a door, securing the wire without elastic ties. This self
-ligating design aligns teeth with fewer appointments and lesser overall treatment time. As a result, the need for dental wax may be reduced, as these braces may be more comfortable and cause less irritation to the gums.
However, the exact need for and use of dental wax can vary based on the type of braces and the individual patient’s experience. Therefore, always consult your orthodontist for personalized advice and instructions.
Where to Get Dental Wax
When you first get your braces, your orthodontist will likely give you a pack of essential supplies, including dental wax. If you lose it or run out, you can easily buy another box from your local drugstore or ask your orthodontist for more.
Taking Care of Your Braces With Wax
Orthodontic wax, also known as dental wax, is crucial in maintaining comfort during orthodontic treatment. It’s designed to alleviate discomfort and prevent the development of sores in your mouth caused by braces. This wax is typically made from natural waxes like paraffin, beeswax, or carnauba wax and is safe to use in your mouth.
When to Use Orthodontic Wax
Orthodontic wax is primarily used when a part of your braces, such as a wire or bracket, is causing discomfort or irritation to the soft tissues of your mouth. This discomfort often occurs when you first get your braces or after an adjustment appointment when the braces or wires may shift slightly.
If a wire starts to protrude and poke the inside of your mouth, you can use wax to prevent it from causing further irritation. Similarly, if a bracket comes loose, wax can secure it temporarily until you can see your orthodontist for a permanent fix.
How to Apply Orthodontic Wax
Applying orthodontic wax is a simple process that can immediately relieve discomfort. Here are the steps to apply it:
- Clean your hands and teeth: Before applying the wax, make sure your hands are clean to prevent bacterial infection. Also, brush your teeth to ensure the area where you apply the wax is clean.
- Dry your braces: The wax will adhere better if your braces are dry. You can use a tissue to dry off the area where you will apply the wax.
- Prepare the wax: Pinch off a small piece of wax about the size of a small pea. Roll it between your fingers to soften it and shape it into a ball.
- Apply the wax: Gently push the wax onto the problem area of your braces. The wax should stick to the braces and form a buffer between the braces and your mouth.
- Adjust if necessary: You can use your tongue or a finger to adjust the wax and ensure it’s covering the entire irritating area.
Caring for Your Braces With Wax
Once the wax is applied, you can leave it on overnight. However, replacing the wax regularly is important, ideally every day or two, to maintain hygiene. If the wax comes off or gets dirty, replace it immediately.
Before eating or drinking, remove the wax to prevent it from getting dirty or coming off. After eating, brush your teeth and then reapply the wax. This routine will help keep your mouth clean and prevent issues like cavities.
Remember, while orthodontic wax temporarily relieves discomfort, it’s not a permanent solution. If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort or if a part of your braces is consistently causing problems, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to address the issue.
Concluding Thoughts on Dental Wax for Braces
Dental wax, also known as orthodontic wax, is an essential tool for anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces. It is a protective barrier between the metal components of braces and the mouth’s soft tissues, relieving discomfort and allowing for a more comfortable orthodontic journey.
The Role of Dental Wax in Orthodontic Treatment
Dental wax plays a significant role in orthodontic treatment. It’s designed to cover dislodged brackets and wires, preventing them from scratching or irritating the inside of the mouth. This is particularly useful during the initial stages of treatment when the mouth is still adjusting to the presence of braces.
The wax is made from natural or synthetic ingredients like beeswax, paraffin, or carnauba wax, which are safe to use in the mouth. It’s typically clear and unnoticeable when applied, although flavored versions are available for those who prefer them.
The Benefits of Dental Wax for Braces
The primary benefit of dental wax is its instant relief from the discomfort caused by braces. It creates a smooth surface over the sharp edges of brackets and wires, reducing irritation and allowing the mouth to heal.
Dental wax can also temporarily solve a broken tooth or irritate dentures. However, it’s important to remember that while dental wax provides temporary relief, it’s not a permanent solution. If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort or issues with your braces, scheduling an appointment with your orthodontist is crucial.
Proper Usage of Dental Wax
Using dental wax correctly can significantly enhance its effectiveness. Before applying the wax, it’s important to clean your hands and brush your teeth to prevent bacterial infection. The area where the wax will be applied should be dried thoroughly to ensure better adhesion.
A small piece of wax, about the size of a pea, should be rolled into a ball and then applied to the problematic area. To maintain oral hygiene, the wax should be replaced every two days or whenever it falls off.
In conclusion, dental wax is a valuable tool in managing the discomfort associated with braces. It temporarily relieves irritation and allows for a more comfortable and manageable orthodontic journey. However, any persistent issues or discomfort should be addressed with your orthodontist to ensure the best possible outcome for your orthodontic treatment.