You know the feeling—you wake up with braces that feel like tiny sharp edges poking into your gums. Ouch!
Don't worry. Orthodontic wax is coming to the rescue.
This handy substance creates a smooth buffer between pointy braces and soft mouth tissue. Just a dab here and there brings relief when metal wires and brackets irritate or scrape your gums.
It gives you relief during the day, but should you really sleep with it on?
Let's dive in and explore whether it's safe and beneficial to keep orthodontic wax on while you sleep.
Is it Safe to Leave Dental Wax on While You Sleep?
Dental wax, also known as orthodontic wax or tooth wax, is a non-toxic material designed to provide relief from the discomfort caused by braces. It can also help make aligners much more comfortable.
Sleeping with orthodontic wax on your braces is completely safe.
Dental wax protects your sensitive soft tissues from the edges of metal brackets. This can reduce the irritation or pain they may cause.
It's an over-the-counter product that can be purchased for just a few dollars. This makes it a cost-effective solution for maintaining sparkling oral health during your orthodontic treatment. In fact, many orthodontists will actually give you dental wax at your appointment.
How to Properly Apply Dental Wax Before Bed
Alt Text: Image of braces wax made of paraffin wax.
To properly apply wax before bed:
- Clean and dry the area around the braces or aligners before applying wax to help it stick.
- Soften the wax by rolling a pea-sized amount between your fingers. This makes it easier to apply.
- Press the wax gently but firmly over any protruding wires or brackets that are causing irritation. Make sure to fully cover any sharp areas.
- Apply wax sparingly and focus only on the irritated areas that need protection to ensure easy removal later.
- Check that the edges are smooth and press again if you need to. This will completely seal the wax over any irritation.
With the proper application of dental wax, you can enjoy a good night's sleep without any irritating poking or rubbing. If you are using clear aligners, gently bite down on a Movemint to seat the aligners properly, before applying the wax. The tasty mint will dissolve and freshen your mouth.
Fresh Start: Replace Dental Wax Every Morning
It's important to remove wax in the morning and replace it with a fresh piece. This is because food particles can get trapped under the wax. This is especially true if you're eating soft foods.
Regularly changing your dental wax also prevents bacteria buildup, contributing to your overall oral hygiene and helping you maintain a brilliant smile.
Sleeping With Dental Wax FAQ
How often should I change the wax on my braces?
It's recommended to change your dental wax twice a day. The same piece of wax shouldn't be used for more than 24 hours, as bacteria can build up over time. When you wake up in the morning, remove the old wax and apply a fresh piece to any areas that are experiencing irritation. It's best to change wax frequently so that your mouth stays clean and less plaque buildup occurs.
Can you sleep with dental wax on your aligners?
Dental wax can be used to alleviate irritation caused by clear aligners and can safely be used all night, just like with metal braces. Also, Movemints can make you more comfortable. Developed by an orthodontist, Movemints have a patented shape that enables them to guide your aligners into place when biting down gently. They are sugar-free, tasty, and will dissolve in your mouth.
Can I eat with wax on my braces?
You can, but it's advised to remove any dental wax before eating meals or snacks. Since food particles can get trapped under the wax, taking it off before eating helps keep your braces debris-free. After eating, brush and floss again before applying dental wax.
What happens if I swallow dental wax?
Swallowing small pieces of dental wax is not harmful. The wax is non-toxic and passes through your digestive system without harming it. However, you want to avoid swallowing the wax as much as possible. If the wax feels loose, replace it with a fresh piece. Don't panic if you do swallow wax - just let your orthodontist know at your next appointment. Monitor for any discomfort, but in most cases, swallowing small bits of wax is not dangerous.