All of you who have braces know how the brackets and wires can hurt your mouth. Your braces can take a toll on your gums, and projections on them can scrape the inner regions of your mouth, causing lacerations and discomfort. If not attended on time, the scraping can cause severe sores on your inner cheeks and lips. To avoid this problem, orthodontists instruct their patients to use dental wax. By applying the wax on the discomfort zones (point of contact where the braces cause problems), you reduce the friction between the braces and your mouth, and minimize the probability of injury to your mouth.
By this I do not mean that, you should clean your mouth before applying the wax (well, on second thoughts, it will be better if your mouth is clean!), but I refer to your hands. You will be using your hands to apply the dental wax, so, cleanse your hands. Make sure that your hands are clean before you proceed.
Now, break (tear) some wax, but see that you do not pull it. When you pull the wax, it stretches, and you might find it a bit difficult to shape the stretched wax. Always break off small bits of wax, as you do not need large chunks of wax for your braces, do you?
After breaking the wax, you should shape the wax in your hand. The dental wax has a low melting point so it is easy to mold it, using the warmth of your hands. Make a ball out of the wax. See that it is completely spherical, it will make the application easier.
Now, is the most important part, cover the problematic regions with wax. Use adequate wax, see that you are completely comfortable, and you do not have any irritation when you try to speak. Application of dental wax should be restricted to the areas which cause discomfort, do not simply waste your time in applying wax, where it is not really necessary.
Your dental wax will break down in a few hours, so, you will have to re-apply it. Before you re-apply, remove the remaining wax on your braces (if any). Generally, re-application of dental wax is necessary after you eat something, as the previous wax covering is lost.
Use the wax recommended by your orthodontist. It is better to remove the wax before your meals. Use your fingers, or a brush to remove the dental wax. I recommend you to use a different brush to remove the wax, and not use your regular toothbrush for this cause, you do not want your regular toothbrush to have traces of wax on it, do you? Dental wax is non-toxic, so do not panic if you swallow it. Personally I feel that you should not apply wax immediately after you get your braces, as your gums are very sensitive then, and it might pain a lot when you indirectly exert pressure on them, while applying the wax.
The first week of braces is going to be tough, as you are not used to the wires and brackets in your mouth. This is the time when you will need dental wax the most, as your inner cheeks and lips are very sensitive to the friction caused by the braces, but once you are accustomed to your braces, you might not even need the wax.