Orthodontic relief wax is a soft, pliable material that is used to relieve discomfort caused by braces and other dental appliances. It is applied to smooth out areas where sharp edges or protruding wires irritate or injure the soft tissues of the mouth. It’s referred to by many names: dental wax, relief wax, orthodontic wax, and orthodontic relief wax. For the purposes of this article, we’ll use the terms orthodontic wax or orthodontic relief wax. Calling this product “dental wax” can often create confusion with waxes that are used to craft dental appliances.
Orthodontic relief wax is normally made of a mixture of synthetic compounds, including paraffin and microcrystalline waxes. Orthodontic relief wax is solid at room temperature but becomes soft as it heats up from being manipulated. It is malleable enough to be applied in different configurations in the mouth and on dental appliances. It is also specially formulated to adhere to appliances and create a reliable barrier between them and the soft tissues of the mouth.
What are the benefits of orthodontic relief wax?
This product’s main benefit is protecting your mouth’s soft tissues, including gums, lips, tongue and cheek lining from coming into contact with certain parts of dental appliances.
Adaptable and User Friendly
Orthodontic relief wax is simple, easy-to-use and adaptable to many situations. Because it can take almost any shape, it works just as well for braces as it does for partials and other dental appliances.
Since most orthodontic relief wax is odourless and colourless, it’s very discreet once it’s applied. Some relief waxes are flavoured, which adds to the soothing sensation of the wax.
Whatever the reason the appliance is creating discomfort, relief wax can provide a soothing barrier. Applying it is as simple as opening a small, portable box, tearing off a piece of wax, and sticking it directly to the affected area.
Secures Broken Appliances
In cases where appliances are broken or malfunctioning, such as braces brackets or wires coming undone and sticking out, orthodontic relief wax can provide a temporary solution until you visit the dentists’ office.
Orthodontic relief wax is most often used in this way for hooks and ligatures that have come undone or partial dentures that have been chipped or damaged, creating sharp, pointy edges that can damage mouth tissues.
Relieves New Braces Discomfort
In cases where the dental appliance is working as intended but simply creating discomfort for the patient, orthodontic relief wax can be used to easy the adjustment process. This use is most often associated with new braces, which is why sometimes the product is called “braces wax.”
Safe to Use
Orthodontic wax is safe to use in the vulnerable interior of the mouth. You can speak, eat, brush your teeth and go about your day normally while it’s on your appliances. Relief wax is perfectly safe to ingest, which happens from time to time as pieces break off from speaking or chewing. The wax will harmlessly disintegrate after a while, and require re-application.
Types of Orthodontic Relief Wax
Orthodontic relief wax is typically sold as a packet of wax strips in a small, convenient plastic box. Each strip can be separated and pieces torn off as needed.
Most relief wax is colourless and flavourless. Some types come infused with other ingredients, including:
There are a variety of box options for relief wax as well, including crystal clear, colourful and scented boxes. Although not as popular as the colourless wax, coloured relief wax is also available on the market.
As with any dental product, consult your dentist for more information before using orthodontic relief wax.
Summary: Use clean hands, to roll some dental wax into a ball. Brush your teeth, then dry off your braces. Press the wax over the bracket or wire and rub it in place. Be sure to reapply the wax regularly, especially after meals.
(1) Acquire a box of dental wax. When you first received your braces, it is likely that your orthodontist gave you a pack with some essential supplies. Dental wax should have been included in the pack. If you lose it or run out, you can easily buy another box from your local drugstore, or ask your orthodontist for some more.You will probably find that your braces irritate the inside of your mouth most when you first have them, so they will require more wax. Over time, the skin on the inside of your mouth may toughen up and you may find you require less wax.
(2) Wash your hands. Scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then dry them thoroughly. You don’t want to bring any bacteria into your mouth, especially if you have a cut or sore.
(3) Shape a small ball of wax. Pull off a little piece of wax from the pack and roll it with your fingers into a ball shape. You want it to be just big enough to cover the bracket or wire irritating your mouth. A blob the size of a popcorn kernel or pea will usually do the job. Roll the wax for at least five seconds. The warmth from your fingers will soften it and make it easier to use.Using too much wax may result in the wax falling off.
(4) Locate painful areas. Wax can cover up any area where sharp or rough metal is irritating your inner lips and cheeks. The most common places are the brackets on your front teeth, and the sharp wires at the far back of your mouth. Pull your cheek out and look for any bright red or swollen areas, or gently probe your cheek to find tender areas. You should protect all of these before they develop into cuts, or get infected. If you’re having trouble seeing, use a metal rod or small spoon to push out your cheek.
(5) Brush your teeth. This isn’t completely necessary, but it may reduce bacteria buildup and keep the wax cleaner. At least remove any food stuck in the braces where you plan to apply the wax.
(6) Dry off your braces. Before you apply the wax, dry off your braces with a tissue. The drier the area is, the longer the wax will stick.
(1) Press the wax over the area causing the pain. Using your thumb and forefinger, press the ball of wax over the bracket or wire causing the pain. If the wire is at the back of your mouth, push as far as you can, then withdraw your thumb and use your forefinger and tongue to position the wax.
(2) Rub it in place. Rub your forefinger over the wax a couple times to stick it in place. The wax should still stick out a little, forming a small bump.
(3) Allow the wax to work. Once you have applied wax to your braces, your mouth should heal itself quite quickly. The wax barrier stops the irritation and allows the mouth the time to heal any sore spots. As you become accustomed to your braces, you will find they cause less and less irritation and you won’t have to use the wax as often.
(4) Reapply the wax regularly. Keep some wax on you when you are out and about. Replace the wax twice a day, or whenever it starts to fall off. Do not leave it on for more than two days, as bacteria can build up in the wax.
The wax will pick up food as you eat. If the braces are too painful to let you eat without wax, replace the dirty wax after you finish your meal.
Take off the wax before brushing your teeth, or you’ll get wax caught in your toothbrush.
(5) Contact your orthodontist if the pain persists. If you have tried wax a andit has not helped, get in touch with your orthodontist. Persistent irritation and sores can become infected and lead to more serious problems. If you are having a really tough time with your braces, don’t be shy about getting in touch with your orthodontist. They will help make them more comfortable.
Everything you need to know about how to use orthodontic relief wax.
Q – Does the wax come off if I brush my teeth?
A – You can remove the wax when brushing your teeth and re-apply the dental wax afterwards.
Q – Can you eat with the wax on?
A – No, because the food will cause the wax fall off. Instead, take the wax off before you eat anything, and then reapply it after you have finished eating and brushed your teeth.
Q – Can I drink anything with the wax on?
A – It would be better to take the wax off. Liquids can cause the wax to fall off.
Q – Am I supposed to remove the wax myself?
A – Yes, you can remove the wax yourself.
Q – Can you reuse wax and if so how can you clean it before reusing it?
A – Orthodontic wax is not that expensive (your orthodontist may even give it to you for free), so there is no point in reusing it. Once you have put it on the brackets it will eventually crumble and fall off, so if you try to reuse it it won’t have the same effect and it will fall off easier.
Q – Do I leave the wax on overnight or do I remove it before bed?
A – You can leave it overnight for protection. While you sleep, you have no control of your muscles so the metal wires can cause even worse injuries especially if you sleep face down.
Q – If I swallowed a piece of wax, should I call my doctor or dentist?
A – No, you should be fine – it isn’t toxic. Do not induce vomiting andyou may contact a physician as a precautionary measure.
Q – How do I remove dental wax?
A – You might want to wash your hands very well before you remove it, but then just gently take it off using your fingers. It should peel off easily.
Q – Will the dental wax stay in place if I drink water?
A – Probably not. Take the wax off and you can drink the water. There is no need for brushing your teeth if it is just water, so just dry the area in your mouth and reapply the wax.
Q – Am I allowed to sleep with lots of orthodontic wax on my braces or is it dangerous?
A – I suggest taking it off before bed if possible. The wax isn’t bad for you necessarily but it is a potential choking hazard.
Q – Can I leave dental wax on my braces overnight?
A – It isn’t recommend because there’s a small chance it might come off the tooth.
Q – What is in the wax that makes your teeth hurt less?
A – There isn’t really a special ingredient in the wax that makes your teeth hurt less. Dental wax is used on the part of your braces that rub against the inside of your mouth, and it keeps the metal edges from rubbing against your mouth. By doing so you give the sores in your mouth time to heal. So it won’t make your teeth hurt less, but it will make your mouth hurt less.
Q – What happens after I put on the wax?
A – It stops your bracket/wire from giving you pain, and allows you to go about your usual routine without annoyance.
Q – How long is it before the wax dries after I put it on?
A – It doesn’t necessarily “dry.” It is designed to soften the feel of braces on the inside of your mouth without changing its properties.
Q – How do I remove wax that is stuck at the back?
A – Use your toothbrush, and be sure to wet it with water first. Rub it gently along the stuck area, and it should come off.
Q – If I just take off the wax to eat or drink, then can I reuse that wax, or should I use another piece of wax?
A – You should use another piece for health and sanitary reasons.