Orthodontic wax is going to be your best friend if you are new to braces treatment. They are typically recommended to provide relief from the oral irritation as a result of the wires and brackets. If you are on your first day of your braces treatment, fret not. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about orthodontic wax, from what it is to how to apply it and whether you can sleep or eat after applying it.
What is orthodontic wax?
Regardless of whether you choose ceramic, metal, or invisible braces treatment, your mouth is going to need some time to adjust to the presence of foreign objects. The only difference between the three types of braces is the presence of wires and brackets in ceramic and metal ones. Occasionally, the inside of your lips, tongue, or cheeks will rub against the braces, causing abrasion and sores to develop if the wires and brackets are too sharp or protruded.
In order to avoid such situations from happening, dentists or orthodontists typically recommend the use of orthodontic wax for individuals undergoing braces treatment. Orthodontic wax is a moldable, soft material that helps to provide a protective layer between the soft tissues of your mouth and your braces. It is typically made using a blend of natural wax, such as paraffin or beeswax, making it safe for dental use.
Sleeping or eating with orthodontic wax on
While orthodontic wax is nontoxic and is technically harmless if swallowed, you should not apply it all over the braces without restraint. With that being said, if you should apply it on those parts of the braces that would irritate your soft tissues when eating and speaking.
The wax may become dislodged when you brush your teeth after your meals, so you need to re-apply them after cleaning your teeth. If you have any ulcers near the protruded parts of the braces, the wax will make it comfortable for your cheeks, lips or tongue as they heal against the rounded contour of the wax.
Applying orthodontic wax before you sleep minimises your risk of developing irritated spots or tissues overnight, especially if you have the unconscious habit of grinding your teeth.
Similarly, applying orthodontic wax before you eat will keep your soft tissues from pressing too hard against the sharp parts of the braces, preventing the development of mouth ulcers. This is especially important when you have to tackle difficult-to-chew foods like fibrous vegetables.
How to apply orthodontic wax?
While it may seem awkward to apply wax inside your mouth, you will get the hang of it with time – and your mouth will be grateful for it, too. Here is a step-by-step process for applying orthodontic wax.
1. Brush and floss your teeth: Before applying the orthodontic wax, always ensure that your teeth and braces are clean and dry.
2. Wash your hands: Your hands can harbour lots of foreign bacteria. Ensure that they are clean before you apply the orthodontic wax.
3. Break off a small piece of wax: You only need a small amount of orthodontic wax. Take a small piece of wax from the wax container and roll it into a ball approximately the size of a pea.
4. Flatten the wax: Gently flatten the ball of orthodontic wax between your fingers, creating a flat, thin disk like a small, flattened raisin.
5. Place the wax on the bracket: Gently place the flattened orthodontic wax over the wire or bracket that is causing oral irritation. Press it into place by squeezing at various angles so that the wax wraps around the offending parts.
6. Smoothen the edges: While pressing the orthodontic wax gently to ensure that it sticks properly, use your fingers to smoothen the edges so that it does not come off.
So, should you apply orthodontic wax before you sleep or eat? You can apply it before you sleep, as well as before you eat. Not only is it helpful in preventing unintentional injury, but wax is also easy to apply even when you are travelling. Orthodontic wax is highly beneficial for people who wear braces, preventing and alleviating any irritation and pain.
Here at BigSmile Dental Clinic, we offer a wide range of orthodontic solutions and cosmetic dentistry, all at highly affordable prices. Take charge of your oral health today. Contact us to find out how you can get started!