Teeth are incredibly strong and can withstand extensive pressure, but they are still vulnerable to injury. Biting down on a hard item or sustaining a blow to the mouth can result in a broken tooth. While broken teeth do require dental care, you may be able to temporarily use dental wax for broken tooth repair.
What Is Dental Wax?
If you had braces as a teenager, you probably are already familiar with dental wax. This substance is made from carnauba, paraffin or beeswax, and it is an inexpensive and safe option to add protection inside the mouth. For braces, it can be put over metal components to reduce rubbing or poking.
While dental wax is commonly used in orthodontic treatment to reduce painful sores from metal wires and brackets, it can be used for other dental conditions. The dental wax can be used to fill in chips in the teeth or to cover sharp edges of broken teeth for a temporary solution to broken teeth injuries.
Why Use Dental Wax for Chipped Teeth?
When a tooth is chipped or broken, it is exposed and vulnerable to a variety of issues. Even a small chip can remove the protective enamel and allow bacteria access to the softer dentin underneath. Dental wax can be used as a temporary covering for broken and chipped teeth until it can be repaired.
The reason dental wax is commonly used for broken teeth is that it is accessible and affordable. You can buy it at most grocery or drug stores. This is convenient when it may be a few days or longer before you can receive dental work to repair your tooth. The application of softened dental wax can provide:
- Protection for the damaged tooth from decay or infection
- Restore a normal shape to the tooth
- Protect your tongue and soft tissues from sharp edges
- Minimize sensitivity to hot and cold
While dental wax can be used as a temporary fix for chipped and broken teeth, it is not a long term solution. The wax does not stay in place and bacteria can get under the wax into the tooth. It is meant to be used as a covering until you can see your dentist for a professional tooth repair with a filling, bonding or crown.
How to Use Dental Wax for a Broken Tooth
If you have a chipped or broken tooth that needs protection, you can purchase dental wax to give temporary relief. You can find dental wax in most stores that carry health and beauty products in the oral health section by toothpastes, floss and toothbrushes. You can choose from flavored or unflavored varieties.
Before you use dental wax, you want to start with clean hands and teeth. Brush and flush your teeth thoroughly to remove bacteria – be careful around the damaged tooth, especially if it is broken. You also want to wash your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds to remove all bacteria before handling the wax.
If you are not sure how to use dental wax for broken tooth repair, follow the directions on the package carefully. In most cases, you can take a pea-sized ball of wax and warm it between your fingers to soften it. Once soft, press the wax over the sharp edges of your broken tooth until it stays in place.
Dental wax is not meant to be used for long periods. It should never be left in when eating – while it is safe to swallow, it will likely fall off when you chew anyway. Dental wax should be removed before eating, then clean your teeth and hands before adding a new piece of wax for protection.
How Long Can I Use Dental Wax for a Broken Tooth?
Ideally, dental wax should be only used for a day or two to cover the edges of a broken or chipped tooth. Constantly pressing wax on a broken tooth could lead to causing more damage, and it does not protect against decay or infection in the long run. It is only a temporary bandage for your tooth and to protect oral tissues.
Most chipped, cracked or broken teeth should be inspected and repaired as soon as possible by a dentist. Even if the tooth does not cause pain, it can be vulnerable to further damage due to the weakened structure or exposure to bacteria. Dental wax can be used while you wait for your dental appointment.
Now you know when and how to use dental wax for a broken tooth. Just remember that until your tooth is inspected and repaired by a dentist, it can still be vulnerable to decay, infection or further damage. Make an appointment for a tooth repair as quickly as possible if you have a broken tooth.