You just got your braces but there is one place that is rubbing on your gum. It’s the only discomfort you’ve had now that the first few days are over and your teeth have gotten used to the added pressure on them. Should you contact your orthodontist about this or will it go away on its own?
Luckily, this is a common problem and one that is easily solved with what is known as braces wax. There’s no avoiding the fact that braces or clear aligners sometimes rub inside your mouth, so this type of dental wax provides the relief you need now, plus it’s good to keep it on hand for later, too.
This article will give you all the information you need about this handy orthodontic product: Exactly what it is, where to get it, and some tips on how to use it most effectively.
What Is Braces Wax Exactly?
Braces wax is a pliable, natural wax that is non-toxic, safe to use, and doesn’t harm the braces. The wax is usually beeswax, carnauba, paraffin, or microcrystalline.
Your braces are probably made of metal or ceramic, with wires connecting the brackets from tooth to tooth. If you use Invisalign plastic aligners, they are trays molded to fit over your teeth. The wax acts as a buffer between the braces or aligners and the inside of your mouth where the metal or plastic might be rubbing. It prevents further injury to your cheeks, lips, and tongue and provides time for any irritation to heal.
This can happen shortly after the braces are first put on or when they are tightened. If you use aligners, you might need to use the wax when you change from one aligner (sometimes called a tray) to another.
Now that you know what braces wax is, here are some ways to use it effectively so your mouth isn’t irritated and sore.
How To Use Braces Wax Effectively
Since you may need this wax occasionally while you wear braces, here are some tips for braces wax and how to use it to your best advantage:
Begin With Clean Hands
Wash your hands thoroughly, using soap. Your hands must be free of any bacteria that could transfer from there to the wax or your mouth. It’s easy to do when the skin in your mouth is scraped or broken. You don’t want bacteria to infect these areas.
Make Sure Your Teeth Are Clean First
You want to begin the process with clean teeth, too. Get rid of any loose food particles, so brush and floss as soon as you’ve finished washing your hands. You want to avoid trapping food against your braces with the wax. Plus, the wax will stay clean longer if your teeth and mouth are clean, too.
Warm the Wax Up
Roll a piece of the wax between your fingers so it becomes warm and pliable. This makes it easier to manipulate and place where you want it.
Just Use Small Pieces of Wax
Break off a pea-sized portion of wax to use on the area in your mouth that is irritated. Any excess wax will simply fall off and you will end up wasting it.
Dry the Irritated Area Before Placing the Wax
The wax won’t stick effectively if your mouth isn’t dry, so dry the area with a soft cloth where you will be placing the wax. Then the wax will stick properly and not fall off.
Replace the Wax in Your Mouth Frequently
The wax will need to be changed about twice a day. This will also give you a chance to check and see if the rubbing is going to continue to bother you. If the wax falls off on its own, replace it as many times as you need. One word of caution: Don’t reuse wax! Dirty or used wax can contaminate your mouth with bacteria.
Change Wax After Eating
If you leave the wax in while you eat, make sure to replace it with clean wax when you’re done eating. If your mouth is no longer sore while you eat, simply remove the wax to eat and then determine if you need to replace it. Just remember to brush your teeth before putting more wax in!
Check Your Mouth Periodically
It’s a good practice to check your mouth every day for bright red, swollen, or tender places in your mouth, whether you’re using wax or not. You can identify places that look as if they might become more irritated. You can use the wax on such areas to prevent further irritation or even broken skin from happening. Wax can’t be used too often!
Use the Wax Overnight If Necessary
Using the wax at night will save you some sleepless nights and it gives your mouth more time to heal. Just make sure to remove it in the morning, brush your teeth, and then replace it with clean wax.
Don’t Attempt to Adjust Any Wires or Brackets
It’s tempting to simply bend a wire or bracket yourself to prevent an offending piece of metal or plastic from rubbing the inside of your mouth. Don’t! You may break a wire or bracket, which will only create a bigger problem for you and your orthodontist. Use the wax but if it doesn’t help, contact the orthodontist’s office and ask for assistance.
If you use these tips as you use braces wax, you will find that it is a convenient tool to have on hand at all times!
Where Do I Get Braces Wax?
When your orthodontist puts your braces on for the first time or you begin using clear aligners, they may give you some braces wax to have on hand. If you need more, ask if they can provide you with additional wax. If that isn’t possible, most pharmacies or large retail stores with a health or dental care department (like Walgreens) sell the wax, too. The cost is very minimal. A word of advice: Get more before you need it!
Braces Wax: An Invaluable Orthodontic Tool You Should Have on Hand
Braces wax can aid your journey to beautiful, straight teeth! Wearing braces or using clear aligners has become much more comfortable but there will be times when the wax will be helpful. Braces wax acts as a barrier between the braces or aligners and the soft tissues in your mouth. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can use the wax most effectively as you need it.
Our team here at Ashby Orthodontics looks forward to helping you on your orthodontic journey. Our goal is to make this experience as pleasant as possible with a great result at the end. Contact us today to get started!