Debating Lingual Braces?
These Pros and Cons May Help

Getting your new braces can be exciting, but the first few days can also be a bit uncomfortable. Luckily, we have lots of tools available to ease discomfort in those first days with braces including dental wax. Once you get the hang of it, dental wax will be your new best friend. At Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics, we want to make you as comfortable as possible! That’s why we’re here to show you how to use dental wax!

What Is Dental Wax?

Dental wax is pretty much what it sounds like! It’s a wax for braces that are used to cover a portion of your brackets or wires that might be irritating your cheek, lips, or tongue. It’s usually made from all-natural ingredients, such as carnauba wax or beeswax, and paraffin. Some wax comes in different flavors, but it’s usually flavorless. 

You will use dental wax to create a barrier between your braces and your mouth. Right after you get your braces, your cheeks, lips, and tongue may become sensitive to these new, foreign objects in your mouth. Until they “toughen up,” the friction between your braces and the inside parts of your mouth may cause irritation and even pain. Dental wax will help protect the inside of your mouth in areas that may become too irritated.

The Dos and Don’ts of Dental Wax

Dental wax is super easy to use! But there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. For example, you don’t want to use too much, you don’t want to keep it in too long, and you don’t have to worry if you accidentally swallow a piece of wax. 

So here are a few dos and don’ts to help you use your dental wax like a pro. 

How to Use Dental Wax

  • Do use a small piece of wax about the size of a pea. Wash your hands, then roll the wax in your fingers to soften it. Then squeeze it into a thick disk of wax.
  • Do floss and brush your teeth before applying the wax, so you have a clean surface and don’t trap plaque against your tooth.
  • Do place the wax over the bracket that’s irritating your mouth and push it around the wax gently with your finger. Use your tongue if needed. 
  • Do keep the wax on the bracket overnight if needed.
  • Do drink liquids or eat soft foods with the wax on your bracket.
  • Do use the wax temporarily over a broken wire or bracket, but call our office right away for emergency repair.
  • Do remove the wax with your fingers or a toothbrush.

How NOT to Use Dental Wax

  • Don’t use too much wax at once because it can impede chewing or speech or come off more easily. 
  • Don’t reuse the same piece of wax. Once you remove it, throw it away.
  • Don’t use the same wax for more than two days. It can trap plaque against your teeth and bacteria within the wax.
  • Don’t keep the wax in your mouth if food gets stuck in it. Remove and replace it after flossing and brushing thoroughly. 
  • Don’t be concerned if you accidentally swallow it. Because it’s a natural substance, it shouldn’t damage your digestive tract. 
  • Don’t try removing your wax with a sharp or pointed object such as a fork or toothpick. You could damage the wire or bracket underneath.

Don’t suffer with a broken wire or bracket until your next appointment. Call us right away to determine whether you should come in for emergency repair.

Can Dental Wax Be Used to Deal With Emergencies?

Dental wax is meant to help with minor irritation. If your irritation or pain gets worse, or if it persists beyond a few days, you should give us a call. Prolonged or worsening irritation could mean there is another problem. A wire may be broken, a bracket could be out of place, or an injury or infection could be involved. Keep in mind that dental wax is not meant to relieve pain, but to prevent it. If you ever feel like you have an orthodontic emergency, we want you to call us right away.

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