Recently you had a set of traditional metal braces installed in your mouth, and the promise of straight teeth and a brilliant smile kept you motivated to deal with them. But you weren’t counting on the first few days being so uncomfortable! The new pressure on your teeth is painful, and the collection of metal brackets and wires is rubbing against the soft tissues inside your cheeks and lips.
It’s irritating, maybe even painful, and it seems to be worse when you’re trying to sleep. You’re a side sleeper, and, well, it’s unpleasant, with the braces pressed against the inside of your cheek when your head is on the pillow and all.
Luckily, there is a simple, inexpensive fix to this dilemma: dental wax. This temporary application covers the braces, therefore diminishing the abrasion that’s causing the irritation while sleeping with braces. Contrary to its benefits, however, dental wax is causing worries among patients, particularly those who apply it at night. Are their concerns valid? Let our experts at Loudoun Orthodontics dispel the mystery!
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WHAT IS DENTAL WAX?
Dental wax is an orthodontic material made from waxes such as carnauba, beeswax, and paraffin, all of which are natural, non-toxic materials. While solid at room temperature, dental wax can be softened and manipulated to be placed on top of your braces. Because it’s non-toxic, you won’t be harmed if you accidentally swallow a piece of wax!
The wax pieces can last a couple of days in your mouth if you take good care of them. For example, you should remove them before eating or drinking so that bits of food don’t get lodged. After eating, you can put the wax pieces back in your mouth, although not before rinsing them off first. Then, after a couple of days, or if they get dirty or get food caught in them, simply replace the wax pieces with new ones.
Dental wax protects your mouth’s soft tissues from the irritation braces can cause. It can also temporarily cover a chipped tooth until you can get to the dentist.
You can easily find dental wax in drug stores and several online sources as an over-the-counter product. It will cost you just a few dollars for a package.
HOW TO APPLY DENTAL WAX ON BRACES
Just a few simple steps will bring you relief from braces irritation:
- Wash your hands.
- Brush the area you want to cover with wax to ensure no food particles are lingering there.
- Dry your braces to help the wax stay in place.
- Roll a piece of wax into a ball to soften it.
- Place the wax on the area you want, and rub it into place.
- Replace it as needed.
As no drug is involved, you can use the wax as much as needed to avoid the irritation of sensitive soft tissues.
CAN I SLEEP WITH DENTAL WAX ON MY BRACES?
In short, yes! In fact, you probably should, as a lot of that irritation from braces can happen while sleeping on your back. To get the relief you need, cover the offending areas, or your entire set of braces, with a layer of wax before going to bed. Dental wax can stay in place for several hours, so it will last you a whole night. In addition, you will likely get a good night’s sleep, as you won’t have the worry and irritation waking you up!
You may swallow small pieces of wax in your sleep. However, there’s no need to worry. Just like that school paste your kindergarten classmate may have eaten years ago, dental wax won’t hurt you, as it’s perfectly non-toxic. And if you’re worried about a choking hazard, that’s highly unlikely, too, because when pieces break off, they end up broken into much smaller pieces that won’t cause choking.
ORTHODONTIC WAX: DO’S AND DON’TS
There are several things you should do and avoid to get the most benefit out of dental wax.
- Replace the dental wax after a couple of days or when it gets dirty or worn, whichever happens first.
- Eating soft foods while the wax is in your mouth, though it is better to remove it before eating so food particles won’t get embedded in the wax.
- Use wax overnight to allow sensitive, irritated mouth tissues to heal or remain undamaged.
- See your orthodontist if you’re still in pain or if your braces have sharp edges.
- Remove wax before brushing your teeth.
- Reuse pieces of wax: Always start with new pieces.
- Keep wax in place if food gets stuck in it: Remove it and replace it with a fresh piece of wax.
- Don’t worry if you swallow wax while eating or sleeping: As mentioned earlier, dental wax is non-toxic and safe.
READY TO START YOUR ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT IN LOUDOUN COUNTY? TRY LOUDOUN ORTHODONTICS!
Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think that braces may be a solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of braces or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!
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