A very common concern of patients before starting orthodontic treatment with braces is whether this type of appliance will cause pain. It is true that, initially, it is necessary to undergo an adaptation period that can last from two or three days to the first two or three weeks of treatment.
And although the main discomfort of orthodontic treatment is that of tooth movement, it is also common to feel discomfort due to the appliance rubbing against the oral mucosa: cheeks, tongue, and lips. Therefore, while you are getting used to orthodontics, the use of dental wax is very important as it can make the process more bearable.
What is the correct use of dental wax?
Dental wax is also known as “braces wax” and can be found in pharmacies and drug stores in the form of thin white sticks. Waxing is a very simple process that can be done as many times as necessary.
1. Remember to brush the area where the wax will be applied.
First, you should brush the area that is causing you discomfort and then dry the area well with a small cotton pad. Hygiene is one of the fundamental steps to avoid problems such as caries, and this type of appliance requires special attention to ensure a good cleaning. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the specialist about the best way to proceed with brushing during treatment.
2. Manipulate a sufficient amount of wax to place it on the orthodontic appliance.
After cleaning, you will take a small amount of wax from the bar (about the size of a grain of rice) and shape it into a round shape. You should place the wax on the bracket or the area of discomfort and press gently so that it adheres to the surface of the appliance. In this way, the wax will create a thin layer that will protect our skin from contact with the metal.
3. Do not worry if you accidentally ingest this wax.
Due to the oral movements, we make when speaking, it is normal for the wax to move, fall out or even be accidentally swallowed. In this case, there is no need to worry about ingesting wax as it is a harmless product prepared to be in the mouth and, therefore, it is not toxic.
4. Combine wax with gels that promote healing.
It is possible that you started the treatment and did not regret using wax preventively. Therefore, if the brackets have already created some kind of wound, in addition to the use of wax, you can combine the use of wax with a specific product that is easily found in pharmacies, and that will speed up the healing process of this wound.
In this case, you should pay attention to the ingredients, as the main component of these products is hyaluronic acid, a powerful regenerator. In addition to regenerating gels, there are also analgesic gels that will have a soothing effect on the wound.
5. See a specialist if the discomfort does not subside.
In addition to the discomfort at the beginning of treatment, it is also common that during orthodontic treatment the archwire that we place to align the teeth may protrude more than necessary in the retromolar area and therefore, it will be very helpful to place wax at the end of the archwire to avoid further injury. However, if after a reasonable period of time, these discomforts do not disappear, we advise you to visit your dental clinic.
And remember, if you are not yet wearing braces but are considering orthodontic treatment, there are alternatives to braces. Today, orthodontics with aligners usually avoids this type of discomfort and has equally effective results.