What Is Braces Wax For and How to Use It – Complete Guides

girl applying dental wax on braces

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.

What is Braces Wax?

Braces wax, also known as dental wax or orthodontic wax. It is made from beeswax, paraffin or carnauba wax which is solid at room temperature. Braces wax is applied to create a barrier between the braces wires and your mouth. However, the warmth of hands softens it enough so that its application becomes easy. It is clear and hence unnoticeable when applied.

Braces wax 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 any 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 put braces wax on?

  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  6. Rub the wax a couple of times to ensure that it is stuck properly. It should form a small bump.

Precautions to Take While Applying the Braces 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Braces Wax

Dental wax is very important when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you’re wondering what is braces wax for and why you need it when you have teeth braces, the questions answered below will help you.

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 yourself from braces pain and abrasions.

  • 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.

Dental wax is harmless if swallowed, but drinking anything with wax on your braces can loosen the wax and cause it to fall off.

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.

Since orthodontic wax is almost transparent, it is hard to notice when you talk or smile.

Dental wax is tasteless in its natural state. But a few brands of dental wax add flavor to it, like mint to add taste.

You can use dental wax as many times as you need during the time of your orthodontic treatment. It is non-toxic and harmless.

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.

You can purchase orthodontic wax at well-stocked pharmacies, or you can order it online.

Get in touch with your local doctors immediately if you are experiencing discomfort, pain or soreness due to brackets or wires of your teeth braces.

Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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