What product do patients most connect to when they are in braces?

What product do you most commonly dispense to your patients?

More than likely both you and your patients will answer: dental wax.

So how is it that this one product that is a key component of orthodontic treatment often falls short when it comes to quality and safety standards?

The dental wax dispensed by orthodontic practices is the last commonly dispensed healthcare product

that does not feature hygienic unit-of-use packaging, tamper evident packaging, labeling with product

traceability, or ingredient disclosure. The product and its packaging have remained largely unchanged for

decades. But now, a new product has entered the orthodontic space to challenge dental wax’s

prominence as the go to product for patients seeking relief from pain and irritation caused by braces, and

more importantly to challenge practitioners’ acceptance of dental wax’s quality and safety shortcomings.

As Scott A. Tyler, DDS, MS, of Michigan-based TDR Orthodontics, puts it, “It’s amazing that no one really

took a second look at [dental wax]. I’ve been practicing for 30 years and there have been zero changes to

the product or the packaging. Traditional dental wax as we’ve been getting it from our suppliers doesn’t

follow any traditional quality or safety compliance of any kind that you would expect for a product you

put in your mouth. There’s no traceability. There are no lot numbers. There’s no single use.

“Wax in general is a pretty insignificant part of an orthodontist’s life, and I think that’s why it has been

able to perpetuate all these years—because no one really gave it a second look. It’s super inexpensive

and it’s generally only [used] at the beginning of treatment. I can almost guarantee you that if wax cost

more, or were it a bigger part of treatment, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. We would have

had [this conversation] a long time ago,” says Tyler.



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