Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that millions of people around the world use to achieve a straight and healthy smile, and while the results are indeed life-changing, the journey toward a perfect smile can sometimes be challenging, especially when it comes to dealing with the discomfort caused by braces.
That’s where wax for braces comes in, providing relief from the irritation that brackets and wires may cause on your cheeks, lips, and gums.
In this guide, we will explore the role of dental wax in making your orthodontic journey as comfortable as possible.
We’ll discuss the different types of wax available, how to apply it correctly to your braces, and tips to maximize its effectiveness. By following the advice provided, you’ll be better equipped to prevent discomfort and focus on the main goal: achieving a beautiful, straight smile.
- What Is Wax for Braces
- Types of Wax for Braces
- Benefits of Using Wax for Braces
- How to Apply Wax for Braces
- When to Replace Wax
- Alternatives to Wax for Braces
- How to Choose the Right Wax for You
- Tips for Adjusting to Braces
What Is Wax for Braces
Wax for braces, also known as orthodontic wax, is a soft, pliable material that provides a protective barrier to help relieve discomfort caused by braces. It is typically applied to brackets, wires, or any other areas of the braces that may cause irritation to the cheeks, lips, or tongue.
Orthodontic wax is made from natural substances such as carnauba wax, beeswax, or paraffin wax. These materials are combined with modifiers and fillers to improve its function and create a smooth texture. Some wax for braces may also include flavorings, like mint, to make using the wax more enjoyable.
- Non-toxic: Wax for braces is safe for consumption, meaning if you accidentally swallow a small piece, it won’t cause any harm.
- Flexible: The wax is firm at room temperature but becomes flexible when warmed by your body temperature. This makes it easy to mold and apply to your braces.
- Transparent: Orthodontic wax is designed to be clear, making it less visible when applied to your braces.
In summary, wax for braces is a helpful accessory for individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment. It is made from natural, non-toxic substances and is designed to provide relief from discomfort and irritation caused by braces.
Types of Wax for Braces
Braces are a popular and effective solution for aligning teeth, but they can also cause discomfort and irritation in the mouth. One way to alleviate this is by using wax for braces. In this section, we will explore the various types of wax used for braces and their unique properties.
Orthodontic wax is the most commonly used type of wax for braces. It is typically made from:
- Natural waxes such as beeswax or carnauba wax
- Microcrystalline or paraffin wax derived from petroleum
These waxes have analgesic properties, which means they can provide pain relief when applied topically. Orthodontic wax may also include ingredients for texture, taste, and flavor, such as mint or other flavorings.
Another type of wax for braces is silicone-based wax. Silicone-based waxes have some advantages over traditional orthodontic waxes:
- They are waterproof, which makes them more effective for long periods
- They do not melt or break down as easily, ensuring a longer-lasting solution
However, silicone-based wax may not be as readily available as orthodontic wax and might be slightly more expensive.
Cotton-based wax is a third option for braces wearers. This type of wax is made from cotton fibers and wax, providing a unique texture that can help with:
- Easier application
- More comfort while wearing the wax
While cotton-based wax can be an excellent choice for some, it may be more difficult to find and may not adhere as well as other wax types.
In summary, there are various types of wax available for braces wearers, including orthodontic wax, silicone-based wax, and cotton-based wax. Each type has its unique properties and benefits, so it is essential to find the one that works best for your specific needs.
Benefits of Using Wax for Braces
Dental wax can play a crucial role in making your braces experience more comfortable. Below are some of the primary benefits of using wax for braces:
Applying wax on your braces helps alleviate pain caused by the brackets or wires rubbing against the soft tissues in your mouth. It provides a protective barrier between the braces and the lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums. This results in reduced irritation and discomfort.
When braces rub against the inner cheeks or lips, they can cause sores and ulcers. Dental wax protects your mouth’s soft tissues from this friction, preventing the formation of sores.
With braces, it’s common to encounter loose or protruding wires. These wires can poke and irritate your mouth. Applying dental wax on the wire can help reduce this discomfort until you get your orthodontist’s assistance to fix it more permanently.
How to Apply Wax for Braces
Prepare the Wax
Before applying wax to your braces, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly to keep any germs or bacteria from entering your mouth.
- Brush your teeth to ensure that the area around your braces is clean.
- Pinch off a small piece of dental wax, about the size of a small pea.
- Roll the wax between your fingers for at least 5 seconds, until it becomes soft and pliable.
Apply to Your Braces
Once you have prepared the wax, follow these steps to apply it to your braces:
- Identify the area of your mouth where the braces or wire is causing discomfort or irritation.
- Gently dry the area with a soft cloth or tissue to ensure the wax adheres properly.
- Press the softened wax ball over the bracket or wire, using your thumb and fingertip.
- Smooth the wax over the braces with your fingertip, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit.
- Leave the wax in place until it naturally wears away, providing relief from the discomfort.
Removing the Wax
When it’s time to remove the dental wax, follow these steps:
- Use a clean tweezers or your fingers to carefully peel off the wax from the braces.
- Discard the used wax and do not reuse it.
- Brush your teeth to remove any remaining wax particles.
- Apply new wax as needed, following the steps in the “Prepare the Wax” and “Apply to Your Braces” sections above.
Remember to replace the wax whenever it starts to wear away or when your braces are adjusted or cleaned by your orthodontist.
When to Replace Wax
Dental wax for braces is an excellent tool for alleviating discomfort caused by braces. However, to maintain oral hygiene and ensure the wax remains effective, it’s crucial to know when to replace it.
It is generally recommended to replace dental wax at least twice a day or whenever it starts to fall off. Changing the wax regularly helps prevent bacteria buildup, which can occur if the wax is left in place for more than two days.
Eating with dental wax on your braces is possible, but be cautious. Wax can pick up food particles, so you should replace it with a fresh piece after finishing your meal if it becomes dirty or dislodged.
It’s also essential to remove the wax before brushing your teeth or using other oral hygiene tools. This ensures that your braces and teeth remain clean and reduces the risk of developing cavities.
Here are some key takeaways for replacing wax on braces:
- Replace the wax twice a day
- Change the wax when it falls off or becomes dirty
- Always use fresh wax after eating
- Remove the wax before brushing teeth or performing oral hygiene routines
By following these guidelines, you can keep your mouth healthy and ensure your braces remain comfortable throughout your orthodontic treatment journey.
Alternatives to Wax for Braces
Braces can cause sore spots and irritation for many people. Although orthodontic wax is commonly used to provide relief, there are alternatives available. In this section, we will look at three alternatives: Brace Guards, Lip Protectors, and Orthodontic Relief Wax.
Brace Guards, also known as silicone orthodontic bands, are a soft silicone product that can be placed over brackets or protruding wire ends. The key advantages of using Brace Guards are:
- Easy application: simply stretch the guard over your braces
- Reusable: washable and designed for multiple uses
- Durable: made from medical-grade silicone material
However, Brace Guards might be less discreet than dental wax as they are visible and typically available in limited colors.
Lip Protectors work by creating a barrier between your braces and the inside of your mouth, thus preventing cuts and scrapes. They are typically made of silicone or another soft, pliable material. The advantages of Lip Protectors include:
- Offers full coverage of brackets and wires
- Reduces irritation to lips and cheeks
- Can be custom-fitted for your braces
When choosing Lip Protectors, consider factors such as comfort, ease of cleaning, and breathability.
Orthodontic Relief Wax
Orthodontic Relief Wax is often considered an alternative to traditional dental wax for those looking for hypoallergenic and more environmentally friendly options. It is made from natural ingredients such as beeswax or carnauba wax. Some benefits of Orthodontic Relief Wax are:
- Biodegradable and eco-friendly
- Hypoallergenic, suitable for users with sensitivity to petroleum-based waxes
- Soft and moldable, easy to apply and remove
Keep in mind that Orthodontic Relief Wax may have a different consistency and require a bit of practice to become adept at using it.
Exploring these alternatives to dental wax can help you find the most suitable solution for your braces, ensuring comfort and relief from irritation during your orthodontic journey.
How to Choose the Right Wax for You
When selecting the right wax for your braces, there are several factors to consider that will ensure maximum comfort and effective relief. Here are some key aspects to look for when deciding on the ideal orthodontic wax:
- Flavored vs. Unflavored: Some dental waxes come in different flavors such as mint or fruit scents, while others are unflavored. Flavored wax can make wearing braces more enjoyable and may encourage you to use the wax more often. However, if you prefer a more neutral experience, unflavored wax might be the right choice for you.
- Ease of Application: Wax for braces should be easy to apply and mold onto the brackets or wires. Look for a wax that is soft, pliable, and can be easily shaped with your fingers. It should stick well to your braces and provide a comfortable barrier between the metal and your cheeks or gums.
- Quality and Safety: Choose a dental wax that is designed specifically for orthodontic use, ensuring it is safe and non-toxic. It should come in hygienic, individual packaging and have clear instructions for use. Look for waxes that are made from high-quality materials so they are less likely to crumble or break apart while in your mouth.
To help you choose the right wax, here are some popular options available:
|Sunstar GUM||Flavored – Mint||Easy to apply; mint flavor can help freshen breath|
|DenTek||Flavored – Fresh Mint||Provides lasting relief; fresh mint flavor|
|Azdent||Flavored – 5 Scents||Offers a variety of scent options, including fruit and mint|
|Element Dental||Flavored – Various||Comes in different colors and scents for a more personalized experience|
|RZJZGZ Dental Oral Care||Unflavored||Unflavored for a neutral experience; easy to apply|
Remember to keep your personal preferences and needs in mind when choosing the dental wax that works best for you. With the right wax, you can alleviate discomfort caused by braces and enjoy a more comfortable orthodontic journey.
Tips for Adjusting to Braces
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential when you have braces. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, focusing on cleaning the brackets and hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
- Use a toothbrush designed for braces, such as the Curaprox CS 5460 ortho.
- Position the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle on the gumline and use gentle circular movements.
- Don’t forget to clean the gumline as well.
- Floss or use an interdental cleaning device daily to clean between your teeth.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help strengthen your teeth while wearing braces.
When you first get braces, you may need to adjust your diet to avoid damaging them or causing discomfort.
- Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods that can damage your braces.
- Cut up hard fruits and vegetables into small pieces.
- Stick to softer foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and pasta.
- Stay away from sugary and acidic foods to prevent tooth decay and gum problems.
Dealing with Discomfort
Braces can cause discomfort, especially when they are first adjusted. Utilize dental wax to provide relief from brackets and wires irritating the inside of your cheeks and lips. Follow these steps to apply dental wax:
- Wash your hands before handling the wax.
- Warm up the wax by forming a small ball with your fingers and holding it for about five seconds.
- Press the ball of wax over the bracket or wire causing discomfort. Adjust its position with your forefinger if necessary.
- Reapply as needed, removing the wax before brushing your teeth and cleaning your braces.
Remember to be patient as your mouth adjusts to your braces. The discomfort will lessen over time, and the end result will be worth it — a beautiful, healthy smile.