The Most Comprehensive Introduction to Dental Wax

Dental wax is our band-aid for braces, which helps cover braces that are rubbing and also pokey wires. As you first get your braces on, usually your mouth has to build up a tolerance to the braces rubbing against your cheeks and tongue as you eat and chew. It’s like you’ll develop little calluses on a new pair of shoes. The same thing happens inside your cheeks. If you are developing little hot spots or even canker sores, use the wax to help relieve the rubbing inside your mouth.

1.Introduction of dental wax

Waxes are used wildly in dentistry. Many varieties of natural waxes and resins have been used in dentistry for specific and well-defined applications. Many dental procedures involve wax containing materials at some stage of the procedure. For example at the time of making ceramic tooth crown, we take bite registration using bite registration wax. During the preparation of denture, the setting up of artificial teeth is done with the modeling wax. In dental casting procedures, inlay backs and casting wax are used. Also, edentulous impressions may be recorded in a wax containing a material called impression compound.

2.Definition of wax

Waxes are thermoplastic materials, which are normally solids at room temperature but melt without decomposition, to form mobile liquids. So waxes are the material that is solid at room temperature and liquid when its temperature rises without losing its composition.

3.Uses of dental wax

  • Make the wax patterns for restorations.
  • Simulate gingiva during denture preparation.
  • Hold the teeth in a record base during denture processing.
  •  Make impressions of the posterior palatal seal region.
  • Bite registration during various procedures.
  • Many miscellaneous labs use dental wax for various intermediate procedures.

4.Ideal properties of dental wax

  • Should be tough and rigid at room temperature and it should not be brittle so that we can manipulate wax easily.
  • Should have a low softening temperature so it can be less time-consuming and it can be melted using warm hand instruments. 
  • Should flow easily so that it can reach the undercut areas easily.
  • Should be dimensionally stable so that restoration made out of the wax pattern fits perfectly over the prepared tooth.
  • Should have melting point well below that of boiling water and that wax can be removed under boiling water, which is necessary for denture preparation during the waxing procedure.
  • Should have a pleasant color and it should possess a color contrast to help during carving.

5.Composition of dental wax

The dental waxes may be composed of natural waxes and synthetic waxes. Gums, fats, fatty acids, and oils are also added to it.

Natural waxes are derived from mineral, vegetable, and animal origins. Synthetic waxes are chemically synthesized from natural wax molecules. They are typically composed of hydrogen carbon-oxygen and chlorine. Coloring agents are added into the wax for contrasts of wax patterns against tooth and model surfaces. Some formulations contain a compatible filler to control the expansion and shrinkage of the wax product. Most dental waxes contain 40 to 60% of paraffin by weight, which is derived from high boiling fractions.

6.How to use the wax?

  • Break off a piece of wax, which depends on how big the area is.
  • Soften it with your fingers the best you can. Heat it up a little bit.
  • Dry off the hook area the best you can. Wax doesn’t work very well underwater. So you need to dry it off with a q-tip.
    The hooks are typically what rub. Sometimes we have the hooks on the back and then from the side braces as well.
  • Put the wax over the area, squeeze it around, crunch it the best you can and cover the whole brace and then squish it on there.

Don’t use too little wax otherwise it will come off. It may come off also if you eat. Don’t worry because it won’t hurt you to swallow. You just need to replace it as needed.

If it does happen to be in the back, especially around the hooks and along the wire, don’t walk up a ball and try to put it on the back where that wire is. Usually, it will come off easily. Take a big piece and then stick it around the whole wire and the brace. Let the little hook hold the wax in. Use a little bit of bigger piece in the back if you have a wire that’s poking you in the cheek until you can get into it.

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