Braces help improve your smile by gradually exerting force on your teeth. While they can fix alignment issues, gaps, and bite problems, they can also be uncomfortable due to the wire’s consistent pressure and the brackets pressing against your lips and gums. This leads patients, especially new ones, to look for ways to ease the discomfort of their braces.
Braces wax provides an easy way to make your treatment more comfortable. Ask your orthodontist for braces wax after your adjustments so you can take advantage of the relief it provides. Read on to learn what braces wax is and how you can use it to ease your pain.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What is Braces Wax?
Braces wax or dental wax is usually made from natural compounds like beeswax, sometimes adding extra textures or flavors with additional ingredients. Other brands are made of carnauba or paraffin wax. All these compounds are specifically designed to ease pain and to allow your mouth the time it needs to heal.
For those worried about their children using braces wax, the fact that the compounds are natural means that swallowing a small amount of wax is perfectly safe. At room temperature, the wax is firm and malleable. With a little heat, such as that created by your fingers and mouth, it becomes softer so you can mold it into the shape you need.
What is Braces Wax Used For?
Braces wax is perfect for shielding your gums and lips from the sharp edges of your brackets and archwire. By sticking wax onto these surfaces, you can smooth out the edges and create a pain-relieving buffer between your lips and gums and your braces. This is especially useful for people who play instruments, as mouthpieces can cause irritation and pain when pressed against braces.
Dental wax is not limited in usefulness to braces, however. Any orthodontic appliances can cause discomfort that wax can alleviate. Even those with ligatures or dentures can experience pain that a buffer of soft wax can help treat in the short term.
How to Apply Braces Wax
When applying braces wax, or helping your child do so, make sure you follow these basic steps.
- Brush your teeth normally, taking special care to remove food and plaque from the spaces where you’re going to apply the wax.
- Dry the braces with a tissue or towel. This will help the wax retain its shape and prevent flaking.
- Wash and dry your hands before touching the wax. Form a small lump of wax (about the size of a pea) and roll it between your fingers to heat it.
- Look for painful red spots on your lips to pinpoint the bracket or wire that’s been giving you trouble. Alternatively, just feel the edges to find where to apply the wax.
- Sculpt a small lump on this area and smooth it out, leaving it protruding enough to cover the edge between your braces and lip.
Other Dental Wax Tips
Here are a few other tips to consider when applying dental wax for short-term relief from minor pain:
- Wax that begins to peel or flake needs to be replaced. If you wear wax all the time, this should be about two times a day.
- Don’t leave the same wax on for more than two days. This can cause food to become trapped and lead to bacteria and plaque buildup over time.
- Don’t use wax while eating and drinking so that it doesn’t become stained or trap food in your brackets. This can also lead the wax to fall off more quickly.
- Don’t reuse bits of wax, as it becomes less effective over time and can cause bacteria to build up. Ask for more at your next appointment.
- Don’t keep the wax in overnight, though it’s safe to ingest in small quantities.
- Contact your orthodontist if you find yourself constantly needing wax to ease your pain. You may have a wire out of place that can be fixed by your doctor. Even if this is the case, don’t try to bend the wire yourself as this can damage your appliance.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
It’s important to know what braces wax is and how you can use it to ease your pain. For orthodontic care in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic options can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible care in your area.