Brackets and wires are nasty contraptions to have in your mouth, so you’ll want to be prepared with something to smooth them off. Doing so helps with tongue pain and speech… but which product to use? Orthodontic wax is the most widely available option, while Gishy Goo is a more recent innovation.
I’ve used both on my lingual braces and thought I’d put them head to head in my very first product review to help you decide.
WAX: “Orthodontic wax helps to protect your mouth and makes you more comfortable in those difficult first months of treatment. The best way to apply orthodontic wax is to tear a small piece off and rub it into a ball, then gently apply it to part of your braces that has been causing discomfort. The wax should then cushion the irritated area and prevent further discomfort.”
GISHY GOO: “Gishy Goo is a soft, squishy material you can put on your braces to keep them from poking and rubbing your mouth. It’s made from the same material dentists use to take impressions of your teeth. It stays in place better than wax and provides lasting comfort for lips and cheeks.”
WAX: buy from this online store and a single container of wax will set you back £0.85p (€1.01). In reality though, your orthodontist will probably keep you stocked up for free. You’ll get around 8-10 applications from each container.
GISHY GOO: buy from the same online store and one pack of Gishy Goo costs £14 (€16.67). I haven’t seen it for sale in any physical shops in the UK so you may have to pay postage too. Again, expect 8-10 applications per tube.
WINNER ON COST: WAX
WAX: thin strips of clear wax come in small plastic containers that are discreet and small enough to slip into your pocket or purse. The ones from my ortho have sparkley bits in the plastic box – but in the name of unbiased reviewing, I’m not awarding extra marks for that 😉
GISHY GOO: comes in a big-ish cardboard box that with cartoon characters that are obviously designed for the child/teenage market. The Gishy Goo itself comes in a plastic syringe with two separate chambers that looks like something you might use to inoculate cattle. Hmmm. The silicon itself is white when mixed, although I believe you can also get garish coloured versions if you’re that way inclined.
WINNER ON APPEARANCE: WAX
EASE OF APPLICATION:
WAX: the instructions that come with the wax simply state that it should be rolled into a ball between your fingers and applied to dry brackets. The problem with a lingual brace is that it’s almost impossible to get the brackets at the back of your mouth dry enough to make the wax stick as your tongue is so close… and usually it’s those back brackets where you really need it. Thumbs down.
GISHY GOO: use the ‘syringe’ to dispense a little Gishy Goo from each side of the tube onto your finger and mix together to activate it. You get a small window of opportunity to apply it to your brace between activating it and it drying too hard to stick. Get it right and Gishy Goo will stick fast to damp brackets, even at the back of your mouth. However, miss the window and you’ll be left with a hard, rubbery piece of silicone that’s no good for anything.
BEST FOR EASE OF APPLICATION: GISHY GOO
WAX: my wax doesn’t taste of anything and that’s just fine by me. I believe you can also buy mint flavoured wax if you prefer.
GISHY GOO: presumably another attempt to appeal to the teenage market Gishy Goo is bubblegum flavoured…why?! The only godsend it that at least the taste doesn’t last that long so you’ll only notice it for a few minutes after application.
WINNER ON TASTE: WAX
WAX: because it doesn’t stick fast, it doesn’t take much to dislodge the wax. It’s a real pain to have to remove it every time you want a cup of tea or a yogurt and unless you’re in serious discomfort you might well decide you can’t be bothered with the hassle. Apparently it’s not harmful to swallow wax but I expect most of us would rather not!
GISHY GOO: will easily stay in place overnight (when your tongue can get really sore) and although you’re not meant to, it will stay in place for hot drinks and soft lunches like soup. In the first few weeks with your brace, knowing you have a tube of Gishy Goo in your bag that will stay in place and protect you from pokes and scrapes whatever you throw at it is a real confidence-booster.
BEST FOR STAYING POWER: GISHY GOO
EASE OF REMOVAL:
WAX: tends to break into little pieces when you try and remove it so this can be a time-consuming and fiddly job. I found that I needed to brush my teeth in order to feel I’d properly got rid of it, which was annoying when I had to do this every time I wanted to eat (the reapply it again afterwards).
GISHY GOO: is easier to remove than wax as it tends to hold together in one lump – grip it in the right place with your fingernails and you’ll probably get it all out in a couple of goes. On that point, it’s worth mentioning that if you bite your fingernails, invest in a pair of tweezers!
BEST FOR EASE OF REMOVAL: GISHY GOO
There’s no escaping the fact that Gishy Goo is expensive but if you can I’d recommend you invest in a couple of tubes when you first get your lingual braces. You won’t need it throughout your treatment but there were times at the beginning when I was in a lot of discomfort that I was so relieved that I had some Gishy Goo in my bag. However, if you can apply it properly, wax and Gishy Goo are equally effective in smoothing sharp areas and giving your mouth a break from rubbing. Even though I’ve had my braces for six weeks now I still carry both with me at all times (for reassurance as much as anything) and Gishy Goo was a great solution when I suffered a broken bracket moments before a fun night out.