Clear aligners like Invisalign or Smile Direct Club is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth without the need for traditional metal braces. While Invisalign aligners are comfortable to wear, they can sometimes cause discomfort, especially during the first few days of treatment. To alleviate this discomfort, Invisalign chewies were developed as a helpful tool for patients.
What are chewies:
Chewies, also referred as Invisalign munchies or Invisalign bite stick, are small, soft foam cylinders that are used during Invisalign treatment to help seat the aligners more securely and promote more effective tooth movement. They are typically provided by your orthodontist as part of your Invisalign treatment kit.
Chewies are made of a soft, pliable foam material that is safe to use in your mouth. They are small enough to fit comfortably in your mouth and are easy to bite down on. Chewies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have the same basic design - a small foam cylinder that you bite down on to help seat your Invisalign aligners more securely.
How do chewies work?
When you insert a new set of aligners, it can take a little time for them to fully seat onto your teeth. This is because your aligners are designed to fit very snugly around each tooth and apply gentle pressure to promote tooth movement. However, the aligners can sometimes feel a bit loose or may not fully seat onto your teeth, which can make it harder for them to move your teeth effectively.
Using a chewie can help to solve this problem. By biting down on the chewie for a few minutes each day, you can help to ensure that your aligners are fitting snugly and securely onto your teeth. The pressure from biting down on the chewie helps to push your aligners more tightly against your teeth and promotes more effective tooth movement.
In addition to promoting more effective tooth movement, using chewies can also help to reduce any discomfort or soreness that you may experience during Invisalign treatment. By helping to ensure that your aligners fit snugly and securely, chewies can help to minimize any movement or shifting of your aligners that can cause discomfort or irritation.
When do you need chewies?
Chewies are typically recommended during Invisalign treatment to help ensure that the aligners fit properly and to promote effective tooth movement. Here are some common scenarios when you may need to use chewies:
- When you first start wearing a new set of aligners: Each set of aligners is designed to gradually move your teeth into the desired position over a period of several weeks. When you first start wearing a new set of aligners, they may feel tight or uncomfortable, and using a chewie can help to ensure that they are fitting properly and promote more effective tooth movement.
- When you switch to a new set of aligners: Invisalign treatment typically involves switching to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks. Using a chewie after inserting a new set of aligners can help to ensure that they are fitting properly and promote more consistent tooth movement.
- When your aligners feel loose or are not fitting properly: If you notice that your aligners feel loose or are not fitting properly, using a chewie can help to ensure that they are seating properly and promoting effective tooth movement.
- When your aligners are not tracking properly: If your aligners are not tracking properly, it means that they are not fitting correctly and may not be moving your teeth as effectively as they should be. Using a chewie can help to ensure that your aligners are seating properly and promote more effective tooth movement.
- When you have attachments or buttons on your teeth: Some Invisalign treatments involve the use of attachments or buttons that are bonded to your teeth to help promote tooth movement. Using a chewie can help to ensure that these attachments or buttons are fitting properly and promoting effective tooth movement.
- When you have a particularly difficult case: In some cases, Invisalign treatment may be more complex or challenging, such as when you have severe crowding or a large overbite. Using a chewie can help to promote more effective tooth movement in these cases and may help to reduce the overall treatment time.
How to use Invisalign chewies? How often should I use Invisalign chewies
To use a chewie during Invisalign treatment, follow these steps:
- Start by inserting your new set of aligners as instructed by your orthodontist.
- Take a fresh chewie and bite down on it, making sure to place it between your front teeth.
- Chew on the chewie for several minutes, applying gentle pressure to your teeth and aligners.
- Move the chewie around in your mouth to help ensure that all of the aligners are fitting snugly against your teeth.
- Repeat the process with a new chewie each time you insert a new set of aligners.
- The Invisalign chewie should be used at least twice a day
It is important to use the chewie as instructed by your orthodontist and to avoid overusing it, as this can cause the aligners to become distorted or misshapen. Typically, chewing on the chewie for a few minutes after inserting a new set of aligners is sufficient to ensure that they are fitting properly.
Do chewies speed up the process?
While there is limited research on the topic, some orthodontists and patients have reported that using chewies during Invisalign treatment can help to speed up the process of tooth movement. This is because using a chewie can help to ensure that the aligners fit snugly against your teeth, which can promote more effective tooth movement.
When you bite down on a chewie and hold it in place for several minutes, you are applying pressure to the aligners and helping to push them into the correct position. This can help to promote more consistent and predictable tooth movement, which may ultimately result in a shorter treatment time.
However, it is important to note that using chewies alone is unlikely to significantly speed up the overall treatment process. Invisalign treatment involves a series of custom-made aligners that are designed to gradually move your teeth into the desired position over a period of several months. While using chewies can help to ensure that each aligner is properly seated, the overall treatment time will still depend on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your case and your adherence to your orthodontist's treatment plan..
Do chewies help Invisalign pain?
Chewies may help to alleviate some of the discomfort or pain that can be associated with wearing Invisalign aligners, particularly during the initial stages of treatment. When you first start wearing a new set of aligners, they can feel tight and may cause some soreness or pressure on your teeth. Using a chewie to help seat the aligners properly may reduce this discomfort by distributing the pressure more evenly across your teeth.
By biting down on the chewie and holding it in place for several minutes, you can help to ensure that your aligners fit snugly against your teeth, which can also help to promote more effective tooth movement. Additionally, using a chewie may help to reduce the amount of time you need to wear each set of aligners, as it can help to speed up the process of tooth movement.
In general, Invisalign chewies are safe to use and do not have any significant side effects. However, some patients may experience mild discomfort or soreness in their jaw or teeth when using chewies, especially if they bite down too hard or use them excessively. This discomfort is usually temporary and should subside within a few days of use. Additionally, some patients may experience irritation or sores in their mouth if they are allergic to the plastic used in the chewies. If you experience any persistent discomfort or irritation while using chewies, you should consult with your Invisalign provider.
Here are some precautions to keep in mind when using chewies during Invisalign treatment:
- Use as directed: Follow your orthodontist's instructions regarding the frequency and duration of chewie use. Overusing chewies may cause unnecessary strain on your teeth and gums.
- Clean regularly: Clean your chewies regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria or other germs. You can clean them with mild soap and warm water or by using an orthodontic appliance cleaning solution.
- Don't use other objects: Don't use other objects, such as pens or pencils, as a substitute for chewies. These objects can be harmful to your teeth and gums.
- Watch for signs of wear: Chewies will eventually wear down over time and lose their effectiveness. If you notice that your chewies are becoming compressed or damaged, it may be time to replace them.
- Be gentle: While it's important to apply pressure to your aligners with the chewie, it's also important to be gentle and avoid biting down too hard. Applying too much pressure can damage your aligners or cause discomfort.
- It's important to note that chewies are not a replacement for proper oral hygiene or regular checkups with your orthodontist. They are simply a tool to help promote more effective tooth movement during Invisalign treatment. Be sure to follow your orthodontist's recommendations regarding the use of chewies and other tools to ensure that your Invisalign treatment is effective and comfortable.
Are chewies resuable? How to clean chewies?
Chewies are typically not intended for repeated use, as they can become worn and less effective over time. It is generally recommended to use a fresh chewie each time you insert your aligners.
As for cleaning chewies, the manufacturer typically recommends using a mild soap and warm water to clean them. You can also use a toothbrush to scrub the chewie gently, being careful not to damage it. After cleaning, rinse the chewie thoroughly with water and allow it to air dry completely before using it again.
It is important to note that chewies are not meant to replace brushing and flossing your teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout your Invisalign treatment is important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Invisalign chewies are a helpful tool for patients who experience discomfort or soreness when wearing their Invisalign aligners. They work by helping to seat the aligners more firmly against your teeth, which can improve the fit of the aligners and reduce discomfort. Chewies can be used multiple times and should be cleaned after each use. While they do not necessarily speed up the Invisalign treatment process, they can potentially shorten the duration of your treatment by improving the fit of the aligners.
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