Braces wax is an excellent solution when you have sore gums when you are getting used to new brackets. It’s also very easy to accidentally chew and swallow with food, but don’t panic!
Anyone who used braces wax – or orthodontic wax as it’s called by professionals – has likely accidentally swallowed a bit at some point. Personally, I must have gulped down nearly half a tray worth over the first few months!
Can You Eat Braces Wax?
Don’t worry – Eating braces wax is not advised but also not a problem. It’s designed so that it’s possible to accidentally swallow braces wax without causing us any harm. Even if you don’t swallow chunks of it, you’ll probably ingest small bits that rub off or melt.
Can You Eat With Braces Wax?
Eating with orthodontic wax or with dental wax is not advised. The action of chewing will just pull it off and mash it up into the food you’re eating. I’ve forgotten it was on and started eating so many times it’s not funny.
Try to remember to remove dental wax before eating. It’s annoying and feels a bit gross in public, but it’s better than swallowing it. It doesn’t taste good anyway.
What Is Dental Wax Made Of?
Dental wax is safe to ingest because it’s made out of natural wax. Most are made out of paraffin wax, and the nicer versions tend to be made with carnauba wax or beeswax too. That means braces wax is non-toxic.
The way it’s produced means the wax sticks to your teeth, even when a little wet. It becomes soft and malleable when heated up and squished by your fingers, but becomes harder after a few seconds – leaving it to stick to the braces and teeth you need it to.
Paraffin wax is made as a byproduct of oil production. That sounds pretty dangerous but it’s a mostly harmless material that can be used for a few things. You’ve probably got a candle in your home made out of paraffin wax, used crayons with it in, and you’ve probably chewed gum that has a percentage of paraffin wax in it.
Carnauba wax is a wax made from the leaves of a Brazilian plant, the Carnauba palm. Its also known as palm wax. Your dental floss is probably coated in a little bit of it. Beeswax is made from the structure of a bee honeycomb, and is an entirely natural product.
It’s still not recommended to eat braces wax on purpose and you should keep it out of the way of any younger children that might try to do this. Some waxes are flavored and come in a colorful little plastic packet so they can be appealing to kids.
What Happens If You Swallow Braces Wax?
Nothing bad will happen if you accidentally swallow a bit of braces wax. Personally, I’ve eaten a fair bit after forgetting (multiple times in a day…) to remove it when eating, and I was fine! All that happens is your body digests and breaks it down without any adverse effect.
How To Use Braces Wax?
Braces wax is used whenever you have a sore spot on your gums from something rubbing against them. Normally it happens when you first get your braces and your mouth isn’t used to the brackets rubbing against your gums. It also happens when the wires at the end of your braces poke out into your mouth too much.
- Brush your teeth, paying attention to in between the braces
- Dry the area of your mouth you’ll put the wax onto and wash your mouths
- Take a piece of wax about the size of a pea
- Squish it and soften it with your fingers, rolling it into a ball
- Apply it to the area of your braces that is rubbing against your mouth
- Softly squeeze it into place around the wire or bracket so it will stay on
- Add more if needed
The idea is to use the wax to protect any cuts and scrapes long enough for them to heal. You’ll often find that after a few days your gums will have toughened enough that you won’t need the wax anymore. I’ve gone for months at a time without, then suddenly needed some when I had a big movement.
What Braces Wax Should I Use?
Always keep some dental wax handy! I stash some at work, one in my everyday bag, and have some at my desk and in my bathroom just in case. This dental wax has been my favorite so far. It has added Vitamin E and Aloe Vera to soothe and heal your cut gums and comes precut into tabs.
You can get six-packs for cheap and can choose from unflavored or mint!
If you prefer you could also get this pack of different fruit-flavored dental wax. It’s sugar-free and won’t cause cavities, and has strawberry, orange, apple, mint, and grape flavors!
Can You Sleep With Wax On Your Braces?
You can sleep with wax on your braces without a problem. Before you go to bed you should fully brush and floss your teeth, then re-apply new wax. Normally the wax will last the entire night without coming off.
If some does break off and wake you up just take it out and put it on your nightstand to throw away the next morning. If you swallow some, as we’ve said it’s totally safe.
How To Remove Wax From Braces?
You should take the wax off before you eat or remove any if it’s loose or flakey, then replace it after brushing. Simply pull it off with your fingers and use a normal toothbrush or interdental brush to get the bits.
You can then spit the remaining wax out and throw it away or flush it down the sink. Dental wax is biodegradable and non-toxic so it is safe to do so.
How Long Does Braces Wax Last?
Braces wax should last 4-5 hours in the day if you aren’t eating or drinking. Overnight it will last longer as you’re less likely to be talking, drinking water, or generally rubbing your teeth and gums with your tongue. You should always remove and re-apply it after eating.
Can You Reuse Braces Wax?
Yes, you can re-use braces wax that has fallen out – as long as it doesn’t have bits of food or drink in it. If you have been eating or drinking and the wax has fallen out, that’s not good to push up against your teeth again. Drinking tea with braces is a common reason for wax to come out because it’s so hot.
Those mushed-up food particles will now be stuck against your teeth for hours and will attract bacteria and cause them to go yellow even if you brush every day. Brush your teeth, get new wax and re-apply instead. Or remember to remove it before eating, and then you can re-apply it after brushing.
Can You Choke On Dental Wax?
While a large enough amount could cause you to choke, we are only using maybe two pea-sized blobs per area. This shouldn’t be enough to cause you to choke after swallowing braces wax. It’s also soft and oily and becomes more so when warmed.
If you do get any stuck in your throat try to cough it up, alert someone to help you as soon as you can’t breathe (don’t wait because of awkwardness), and learn to perform the self-Heimlich maneuver if you’re worried.
Braces Wax Alternatives
There are a couple of braces wax alternatives. Bear in mind that dental wax is essentially the same thing. We recommended Orthodots in our guide to the Best Invisalign Accessories, but they can be used for braces brackets.
They’re not going to be as good for wires, but they do stick onto brackets really well. They’re also see-through and less visually obvious than braces wax. Orthodots also don’t break up like wax. Give them a go!
Beeswax will also do the trick as a braces wax alternative. You might have some lying around, or you might have a cheese that uses beeswax as the outer cover! Use it just like braces wax. You can even get a nice orthodontic wax that’s made completely of beeswax.
In an absolute emergency where you’ve got a really sharp broken bracket that’s very painful and you just need something for a couple of hours, you could use chewing gum. A tiny bit of pre-chewed sugar-free gum will do the trick until you can get to a shop for some braces or dental wax.
Make sure it’s not the sugary kind, this will be really bad for your teeth! It’s also very hard to remove and bad for your braces to chew gum. You’ll have to be very careful in removing the chewing gum so it doesn’t damage or pull off your braces.
If you find you are in pain even after using braces wax, eating ice cream with braces can give you a little pain relief from the cooling sensation. Always brush after though! It’s one of our top tips in stopping braces pain immediately.