For several decades, orthodontists have used braces to straighten and align patients’ teeth and give them healthier mouths. The Invisalign® system, an advanced, more comfortable method than the traditional metal system of brackets and wires, uses “invisible” plastic aligners to realign the teeth in a gradual manner. To work properly, they need an airtight fit. As teeth shift throughout the treatment, there may be times when you need a little extra effort to get that desired tight fit against your teeth.
One way to make that happen is to use Invisalign chewies, also known as aligner chewies. These are small pieces you bite down on in places where the aligner is slightly loose. It’s a simple way to ensure the aligners can do their jobs.
This article will look at what aligner chewies do for Invisalign, how they help keep your progress on track, and where to find an Invisalign chewie.
Ensuring a Good Fit with Invisalign® Aligners
Invisalign aligners enhance your orthodontic treatment because they are custom-made to fit perfectly against your teeth. This is how they exert the force necessary for your teeth to be coaxed into moving.
With Invisalign, you receive several sets (one top and one bottom piece) of clear plastic aligners, each custom fit for your mouth. You wear each set for about two weeks, then move to the next set. No two pairs are alike because they are each made to account for the movement your teeth will have made in the previous two weeks.
As your teeth slowly move toward their new home, the current aligner’s shape does not change. Therefore, small gaps can form in some spots, making the aligners not fit as tight as they should. With a new aligner, it may be that the teeth haven’t shifted enough yet to get that perfect fit.
The Invisalign aligners must be worn for 22 hours per day. The other two hours are for you to remove them for cleaning and eating purposes. You might need a little extra push to get the aligners back into the ideal place when you put them back in your mouth.
Invisalign chewies help correct these problems.
What Are Invisalign® Chewies?
Invisalign chewies look like little pool noodles, about an inch to an inch and a half long and just under a half-inch wide, with a hollow center. These spongy cylinders are made of styrene copolymer, a firm yet flexible type of plastic.
Do Invisalign® Chewies Really Help Your Invisalign® Aligner?
Invisalign chewies help quite a bit! The effectiveness of the Invisalign system relies on aligners that fit tightly against the teeth. When your aligner is not getting that perfect fit—you get air bubbles or space between the aligner and your teeth—you can bite down on a chewie in the offending area to give the aligner the extra force needed to make it fit perfectly. Chewies will also help Invisalign attachments, such as buttons or elastics, fit perfectly with your aligners.
Chewies help ensure your Invisalign treatment works as quickly and effectively as possible. And they sure beat sticking your fingers in your mouth and awkwardly pushing on the aligners for several minutes at a time. This way, you can let your jaw do the work!
How to Use Invisalign Chewies
With your aligners in place, place a chewie in your mouth and bite down on it several times, moving it to different areas and engaging all teeth, especially those areas that need the extra push. Keep going for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat the process a couple of times per day or as often as your orthodontist recommends.
You might experience some discomfort, especially when you first start using the aligner chewies. In addition, repetitive chewing may make your jaw a little sore. If so, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Are Invisalign Chewies Reusable?
Yes, they last for several uses. After each use, wash the chewie with mild soap and store it in a safe place. You’ll know it’s time to toss the chewie and start a new one when the current one loses its shape and elasticity.
An important note: a small child may mistake chewies for candy, especially if they’ve seen you chewing them. Make sure you keep the chewies where the child can’t reach them. They are indeed choking hazards to a toddler.
Where Can You Get Invisalign Chewies?
Your orthodontist’s office may provide Invisalign chewies with your aligners. If not, you can check local supermarkets, drugstores, and other stores that sell dental products. Some online retailers sell chewies in multipacks, including Amazon.com, Dentalcity.com, and Walmart.com. Search “Invisalign chewies” or “aligner chewies.”
Also available to serve the same purpose as chewies are Movemints® and Munchies®. Movemints® help push your Invisalign aligners more firmly into place. At the same time, they freshen your breath and help prevent dry mouth. Munchies® also serve the same function and have the added benefit of pain relief.
Start Your Invisalign Treatment at Patuxent Orthodontics Today!
For your Invisalign system to work as intended, the aligners need to fit perfectly against your teeth and provide the force to gradually move them to their new locations. Unfortunately, that fit can be disrupted slightly as your teeth move while the aligner’s shape remains static.
Invisalign chewies help ensure that perfect fit. The jaw pressure pushes the aligner further into place and eliminates any space between the aligner and your teeth. It takes just a 5 to 10-minute exercise to keep your Invisalign journey on track.
At Patuxent Orthodontics, we specialize in providing Invisalign treatments for our patients. Contact us and make an appointment to explore using Invisalign for your smile. By the end of your consultation, you will have all the knowledge necessary to take the next step in your Invisalign treatment. We are here to bring health to your mouth and beauty to your smile.For more information on any orthodontic treatment, reach out today to book a complimentary consultation at our friendly office in Lansdowne, VA! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health!