Orthodontic wax is a great tool in making your braces treatment go more smoothly – literally! Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about orthodontic wax.
What is orthodontic wax?
Orthodontic wax is used to protect the gums and the lining of your lips and cheeks from the metal of your braces. It functions as a barrier that keeps the various parts of your braces from creating friction against the inside of your mouth.
What is orthodontic wax made of?
Orthodontic wax is made of natural substances like paraffin wax, beeswax or carnauba wax. It usually also contains some fillers and modifiers. Some types are also flavoured.
Is orthodontic wax safe to swallow?
Orthodontic wax is completely non-toxic and safe for consumption. That means if you swallow it inadvertently, you’ll be just fine!
What does orthodontic wax taste like?
Orthodontic wax is typically completely tasteless, but it can come in flavours as well, most commonly mint.
How often do I need to apply orthodontic wax?
This varies from person to person, and it also depends on where you are in your treatment process. When your braces are first applied, you may need to apply it more frequently as your mouth won’t yet be accustomed to all those new bits of metal in there. The wax provides an opportunity for any sores and cuts to heal, and prevents fresh ones from forming. Over time, the skin in your mouth adjusts to the braces and you probably won’t need to apply as frequently, or at all.
Where can I get orthodontic wax?
Your orthodontist will provide you with some wax when you first have your braces applied, as part of your dental care kit. However, it is also readily available at most pharmacies, in the oral care section.
Will people be able to see the orthodontic wax when it’s on my braces?
Most likely not. Orthodontic wax is clear when applied, and so it is virtually invisible to the naked eye.
Are there any alternatives to orthodontic wax?
Some people prefer to use dental silicone, which is available in strips that are applied to the braces. You can also get plastic lip guards that fit over your braces.
How do I apply orthodontic wax?
To apply orthodontic wax, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands.
- Brush your teeth to make sure the area to which you’re going to apply the wax is clean.
- Take a small piece of wax (just enough to cover the offending wire or bracket) and roll it into a ball. This will make it more malleable and easier to apply.
- Press the wax onto the bracket or wire that is causing discomfort.
- Rub the wax into place. It should form a small bump overtop of the bracket or wire, preventing further friction.
How do I remove orthodontic wax?
If you want to remove orthodontic wax that you’ve applied, there are a few tools you can use. You can try a toothpick, a proxy brush (interdens stick) or even plain old dental floss.
You may find that the wax simply wears away or flakes off over time, so this may not be an issue for you.