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Invisalign Chewies: Ultimate Guide & 5 Signs You Need Them

Invisalign represents a modern approach to orthodontic treatment that uses custom-made, virtually invisible aligners to straighten teeth in a discreet manner. A crucial accessory to Invisalign treatment is what’s known as “chewies,” small, cushioned cylinders that patients bite down on to help aligners fit properly onto the teeth.

This ultimate guide will provide you with all the necessary information about Invisalign chewies and explain why they are important for your treatment.

What are Invisalign Chewies?

Dental Aligners with chewie

Invisalign chewies are small cylinder-shaped devices used with clear aligners like Invisalign to improve their fit by removing air bubbles between the aligner and teeth. They are soft plastic cylinders the size of a cotton roll that you can chew on to help the aligner conform well to your teeth, ensuring effective treatment.

The material used in chewies for Invisalign is made of soft, spongy plastic called styrene copolymer.

Chewies for Invisalign are typically recommended to be used for a few minutes multiple times per day, especially when starting a new set of aligner trays.

How Do Invisalign Chewies Work?

Invisalign aligner chewies are used with clear aligners to help them conform well to your teeth, ensuring effective treatment. They work by creating a light suction effect when bitten on, eliminating the air space between teeth and Invisalign aligners. This provides equal force for the aligner to sit fully.

While they may cause temporary discomfort, they are generally safe and effective in aiding the alignment process of clear aligner treatment.

How to Use Invisalign Chewies Effectively

For Invisalign chewies to be effective, you should use them correctly.

  1. Put your aligner in your mouth as instructed by your dentist. It should be as fit snugly as possible.
  2. Place the aligner chewie in between the upper and lower teeth.
  3. Bite down on the chewie for several seconds.
  4. Move it to a different area, and then repeat step number 3.TIP: You may start on one side and move to the other to ensure that all teeth bite the chewie.
  5. Double-check for air bubbles and bite down for the second if necessary.
  6. Use chewies for several minutes (about 5 minutes) twice a day. Your dentist will give you instructions as to when and how long you will use chewies.

While using Invisalign chewies seems straightforward, there are a few common pitfalls you should be aware of to ensure they are as effective as possible:

  • Using the same chewie for too long: Chewies lose their effectiveness over time as they become compressed. Be sure to replace your chewie as often as your dentist advises, usually once it starts to lose its shape or becomes too soft.
  • Biting too hard or too softly: Applying too much pressure can damage the chewie or your aligners, while too little pressure might not be effective. Find a balance that feels comfortable yet firm.
  • Not using them enough: Chewies should be used twice a day, usually at the beginning of each aligner wear session, for a few minutes each time.
  • Not storing them properly: Keep your chewies in a designated storage case whenever they are not in your mouth, in your hand, or soaking in a cleaning solution.
  • Not cleaning them properly: After using chewies, wash them with water and mild soap to ensure they retain their elasticity and accumulate less bacteria.

Benefits of Using Invisalign Chewies

Invisalign aligner

Invisalign chewies can significantly enhance your Invisalign treatment experience:

  • Improved Aligner Fit: Chewies ensures a snug fit of the Invisalign aligners. By chewing on these soft, spongy cylinders, patients treated with Invisalign can eliminate air gaps between the teeth and the aligners, ensuring it is fully seated and working as intended.
  • Increased Comfort: Initially, new aligners may be slightly uncomfortable because of the pressure they exert to move teeth.
  • Enhanced Treatment Effectiveness: Chewies indirectly contribute to the effectiveness of the treatment by improving the fit and ensuring that aligners are seated correctly. Properly seated aligners apply the correct amount of pressure to teeth, ensuring that the orthodontic treatment progresses as planned without unnecessary delays.

5 Signs You Need Invisalign Chewies

Now that you know what chewies for Invisalign are, do you need them? Here are the 5 signs why you may need them:

1. Poor aligner fit

Poorly fitted aligners can be one of the signs that you need Invisalign Chewies. The aligners are supposed to fit snugly onto your teeth, but if they feel loose and do not sit comfortably in your mouth, it could delay the treatment as it will not be able to apply the necessary pressure to shift your teeth.

2. Discomfort with new aligners

Discomfort is natural when you first get a new set of aligners. But if the discomfort becomes unbearable, you need Invisalign chewies. Using chewies can help guide teeth into the Invisalign aligner seaters, reducing discomfort and ensuring that the aligners fit correctly.

3. Slow treatment progress

Dentist assisting a patient to wear invisible braces

If you notice that your Invisalign treatment is taking longer than expected, it could be a sign that you need chewies. The aligners may not be fitting properly, which means your teeth are not shifting as they should. Chewies help fit the teeth snugly, which can speed up the treatment process.

4. Uneven pressure on teeth

Ideally, Invisalign aligners should apply equal pressure on your teeth. If you feel that some areas of your mouth are experiencing more pressure than others, it could be a sign that you need chewies. By using chewies, the pressure can be distributed evenly throughout your mouth.

5. Difficulty wearing aligners for full time

Some may find it challenging to keep Invisalign aligners on for the recommended time, and chewies can help with that. Chewies can make the aligners more comfortable to wear and ensure they fit properly, making it easier to wear them consistently.

Who Needs Invisalign Chewies?

  • Individuals who are starting out on a new set of aligners or have areas of aligners that don’t seem to fit well
  • Those who have noticed an area of their mouth where their aligner doesn’t seem to fit well
  • Patients who have just put in an aligner and want to ensure it fits snugly over their teeth
  • People who have replaced an aligner after a meal or after cleaning their teeth
  • Those who have visible “air gaps” between their teeth and the aligner
  • Patients who need to improve the grip of aligners on their teeth
  • Individuals who want to enhance the fitting of aligners and remove air bubbles

Caring for Your Invisalign Chewies

Invisalign aligner chewies should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water after each use. After cleaning, store your chewies in a safe place.

You can and should reuse Invisalign aligner chewies. Replace each chewy when it becomes thin and worn to ensure that it provides enough resistance to be effective.

Be cautious when using Invisalign chewies, as they can be a choking hazard. Always hold onto them when using them, and never place the whole chewie in your mouth and chew it like gum.

FAQs about Invisalign Chewies

Where can you get Invisalign chewies, and how much do they cost?

When having your first Invisalign aligners, your dentist might provide you with Invisalign chewies. You may also buy them at any pharmacy or an online retailer. It costs it is $5 + GST per pack.

Do I need chewies if my Dentist didn’t provide them?

You need to follow what your dentist recommend about whether you need them or not. If not stated, you may ask for advise first.

How often should I replace my chewies?

The frequency of replacing chewies depends on how often you use them and how quickly they wear out. If you notice that your chewies are becoming worn out or less effective, you may want to consider replacing them.

Can I use Chewies with other aligner brands?

Chewies can be used with other aligner brands, as they are designed to help clear aligners fit more snugly against the teeth.

Are there any side effects of using Chewies?

There are no known side effects of using chewies. However, follow proper oral hygiene practices and clean your chewies regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria.

What should I do if I experience pain while using chewies?

If you experience pain while using chewies, it is important to stop using them and contact your dentist. They can provide guidance on how to adjust your treatment plan or recommend alternative tools to help with the fit of your aligners.

Can Chewies Speed Up My Invisalign Treatment?

If your Invisalign aligner seaters don’t fit perfectly whenever you wear them, tooth movement may be slower, resulting in a longer treatment time. A good fitting of the Invisalign aligner keeps treatment working effectively and going as planned.

Conclusion

Invisalign chewies enhance the comfort and effectiveness of Invisalign treatment by ensuring a snug fit of the aligners. They assist with better aligner seating to distribute pressure evenly and aid in faster treatment progress.

Chewies for Invisalign are perfect for those experiencing poor aligner fit, discomfort with new aligners, uneven pressure distribution, or challenges in wearing aligners for the recommended duration.

Keep in mind that chewies should not be used without the recommendation of your dentist. Consult with your dentist for personalised guidance on whether chewies are appropriate for your specific treatment plan and to address any issues or pain you might encounter during your Invisalign treatment.

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