REVIEW: Wax vs Gishy Goo

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.

{© Inside I’m Smiling}

THE CLAIMS:

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.”

COST:

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

APPEARANCE:

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

TASTE:

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

STAYING POWER:

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

CONCLUSION:

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.

First new wire – ouch!

I had the wire changed on my lingual braces for the first time this morning… my teeth are sooo achy! Think I need some of these 😉

{via Web Designer Depot}

I’ll post again over the weekend with some photos for you. Hopefully by then my gums won’t be so sore and I’ll be able to think straight enough to write a coherent blog post! There are a few changes to my braces to show you…

My lower brace goes on: good news and the bad news

I’m afraid the photo’s not brilliant, but here’s my lower lingual brace, which I had fitted 24 hours ago:

lower-lingual-brace-day-1{© Inside I’m Smiling}

Having it put in was pretty much the same process as the top brace and took around 30 minutes. You can see that I have two teeth on the bottom without brackets – they’ll be added later once some space has been made. As I knew what to expect this time I was much less anxious. However, I’ve found the first 24 hours with my lower brace quite hard.

The good news…

Getting my bottom brace has improved my speech problems! I was worried that getting it would take me backwards a few steps as far as my lisp was concerned, but having lingual braces on both sets of teeth has actually made it easier to shape those tricky sounds. I can only guess that it’s because the inside surface of my teeth is now ‘built back’ to the same degree on both the top and bottom and that has something to do with it. During the first evening with my bottom brace (before the pain really set in) my speech was very nearly back to normal, so I’m really hoping that once the pain subsides, I’ll sound like myself again.

The bad news…

I have to tell you, my lower brace feels really, really sore! I felt like I had a pretty easy ride as far as pain was concerned with my upper brace so this has hit me quite hard as I wasn’t as prepared this time. With the top brace the soreness on my tongue was mainly concentrated at the front where it was in contact with the brackets when I spoke. With the lower brace, the pain is all towards the back of my tongue at the sides and is primarily caused by the movement my tongue makes moving over those back brackets when I swallow. And not just food and drink either – you have no idea how many times you swallow during the day just with saliva! Ouch! On top of that, I have also felt a lot more aching in my teeth on the bottom than the top – I had real trouble eating last night and today as it hurts to chew even soft foods and with the swallowing pain as well, even soups and yogurts are a struggle. I know I’ll only feel more despondent if I’m hungry so I’ve been taking ibuprofen to help me push through, which has helped. I’ve avoided wax and Gishy Goo so far but I know I always have that option too if it gets worse.

I’m really hoping that in a day or two the pain will settle down, and when that happens I’m excited to see what my speech is like. I’ll be so delighted if the improvement I experienced initially continues as I was starting to feel a little frustrated. Also, I would say that if you are thinking of getting lingual braces, ask your orthodontist if they will stagger the fitting of your upper and lower brace. My ortho recommends fitting them two weeks apart as he says the experience of having them both put on at once would be too overwhelming and I can certainly imagine that would be the case.

First 48 hours with a lingual brace: pain

{via The Curious Brain}

Overall, I think I’d have to say that my first 48 hours with my lingual brace has been as expected: it hurts a bit, I lisp a bit, it’s a bit hard to eat.

I’d describe my top brace as sore, but not painful. For about the first twelve hours I wasn’t in pain at all. When I woke up on the first day I noticed one of my teeth aching a little – the kind of feeling you’d get if you pressed on a tooth really hard – I was meeting a friend that morning so I took some ibuprofen just in case it got worse and didn’t feel anything more after that. One or two of my teeth hurt if you press them now, but ordinarily they’re fine.

At the end of day one I could definitely feel my tongue starting to bother me – a kind of raw sensation and a bit of redness around the edge where it’s in contact with the brackets but no ulcers yet. It definitely helps to use some wax or Gishy Goo on the brackets and wires you can feel the most. At night I put Gishy Goo over all of the front four brackets as I knew my tongue would be resting there and that really helped. I also used a mouth ulcer product called Iglu over the sore edge of my tongue which was amazing (I will write a full product review here at some point). I’d definitely recommend you get some so you can treat any sore areas before they get too bad.

One thing I would say is that I sleep with my mouth closed, but if you normally sleep with your mouth open try not too… I can imagine the pain on your tongue overnight would be much worse if your mouth was dry. I’ve heard that nasal strips (the sort you can buy for a cold) can help.