Invisalign chewies – what are they, how do they work, and are they actually effective?
If you are looking into getting Invisalign as an orthodontic treatment, chances are you may have heard of Invisalign chewies. They are a great tool to make sure your Invisalign trays fit well and are attached securely to your teeth.
But what are they exactly and are they really necessary? In this article, we will discuss all the important stuff you need to know about Invisalign chewies.
What are Invisalign chewies?
Invisalign chewies are soft, cylinder-like tools made of a soft plastic-like material called styrene copolymer. They are about the same size as a cotton roll or the popular candy, drumstick squashies. They may look like candy but they are not edible! So you have to make sure that you do not swallow them and that you keep them away from kids.
Since Invisalign chewies are not edible, they are definitely reusable. So you do not need to buy multiple packs. All you have to do is wash them up thoroughly with toothpaste or soap and rinse them properly.
What are Invisalign chewies for?
To understand what Invisalign chewies are for, you should understand how aligners work. The aligners from Invisalign straighten your teeth into the right position by applying gentle pressure to your teeth.
Unlike traditional metal braces that can exert more force, clear aligners can only work with a limited amount of pressure for tooth movement. For the pressure to work on your teeth, the aligners fit is very crucial. It must get a good, snug grip on your teeth.
Each set of aligners in your treatment plan will get tighter to ensure the gradual movement of your teeth. Because each set is tighter, it may be difficult for you to put on the new aligners during the first few days.
And this is where the chewies come in. You are supposed to bite down on the Invisalign chewies to ensure aligner fit.
The main goal is to remove any air bubbles that may be in between your Invisalign aligners and your teeth. Bubbles are a sign that your aligners are not fitted correctly because there is a space between your teeth and the aligner.
Using Invisalign chewie around the area where you see the bubbles will help the aligner get a tighter grip on your teeth. You will notice that the bubbles will be gone.
How do you use Invisalign chewies?
Using the chewies is not a complicated process. First, you place your aligners over your clean teeth. Then, hold the end of a chewy between your thumb and forefinger then chew on the other end.
Start with your back teeth from left to right, gradually moving the chewy around to make sure that all areas are covered. Try to make sure that each tooth has a turn on the chewy. The repeated biting on the chewie will ensure that the aligner is seated correctly on your teeth.
Then, check in the mirror if you still see any air bubbles. If you spot some, put the chewy on the area again and bite on it until you notice the air bubbles disappear. When this happens, it is a sign that your aligner fit properly.
Once you are done, clean off your chewy with toothpaste or soap. Rinse properly. And then store it in a safe and sterile container. You can use an aligner case or a retainer case.
Dental professionals recommended that you use them also as a chewing exercise for about 5 to 10 minutes per day, twice a day.
If your dentist or orthodontist provides the Invisalign chewies for you because you have a complex orthodontic issue, they may also give you specific instructions on how to use them.
Are chewies required for Invisalign treatment?
Invisalign chewies are not exactly a requirement. The clear aligners are already a great fit in itself. But there are times when you change to a new set of aligners and the new aligner will feel tighter. You may need help putting them on as you adjust.
Invisalign chewies are also a great help for patients treated with a complex orthodontic issue like an overbite or you are using other Invisalign tools like attachments or buttons. It will help your aligner sit correctly on the attachments and be able to get a proper grip on your teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where can I get Invisalign chewies?
Your dentist or orthodontist can provide them for you. They usually do this when you are getting your first set of clear aligners. If not, you can always order them from a pharmacy or online from Invisalign.
How much do Invisalign chewies cost?
Invisalign treatment is expensive. So, you may be wondering how much Invisalign chewies cost. Surprisingly, they are not as expensive as we think they are – you can buy them for $1.50 each. And they are mostly available in packs.
Invisalign chewies are available in white unscented, purple with grape scent, yellow with pineapple scent, green with mint scent, and pink with bubblegum scent.
You can also get them for free if your orthodontist or dentist is willing to give free samples.
Can chewies speed up my Invisalign aligners treatment?
A good aligner fit is crucial to make sure your Invisalign treatment is going well according to plan. If your clear aligners do not fit perfectly every time you wear them, it can cause delays in your Invisalign treatment. And delays mean spending more money on it.
Invisalign chewies ensure that your Invisalign aligners will be fitting properly every time you wear them. But it does not have the capacity to shorten your treatment time. However, it does ensure that your treatment plan will not go longer than what was initially planned.
Do Invisalign chewies have side effects?
You should not be feeling any side effects when you are using Invisalign chewies correctly.
But some people have reported a slight ache in the jaw from the motions of biting down on it with the aligners on. This usually happens when you are putting on a new aligner because they are tighter than the last.
If you feel the same way, there is no need to worry. Any pain or discomfort that you may feel will go away in a few days. You can also use over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication for fast relief.
If pain or discomfort is still around after a week, you should see your orthodontist about it.
Can’t I just chew on it the way I chew regular gum?
Some people claim to just toss the chewie into their mouth and chomp on it for about 20 seconds like a piece of gum.
Sure, you could do this but it is a messy process since your chewie will then be logged with saliva by the time you are done and you spit it out. Plus, there is also the risk of you accidentally swallowing the chewy or choking on it.
So, the safest way to use your chewie and ensure a proper fit is to hold one end with your fingers and bite on the other end.
How often should I replace my chewies?
You will know that your Invisalign chewies need to be replaced when it starts losing their shape. By then, you should move on to a newer and fresher chewie.
If you continue to use it when it has already lost its elasticity, it can accumulate bacteria and make itself taste bad.
Is it included in the Invisalign treatment?
Chewies are not included in your total Invisalign cost. Most Invisalign providers would think it is unnecessary unless you have a complicated orthodontic issue. If you want them from your Invisalign provider, it will be treated as an accessory or additional cost.
This also gives you the choice to try other Invisalign aligner tray seaters from other dental supply companies.
What can I use instead of Invisalign chewies?
There are other aligner seater products in the market aside from Invisalign chewies. But these product alternatives come from a different brands. If you are looking for alternatives, you can check out the following products:
Munchies. These aligner seaters come in different hardness levels, from gentle to firm. They are made out of silicone and usually return to their original shape right after you bite on them.
Movemints. This is an edible option that you can chew on while trying to put your aligner into its proper place. It’s like a specially formulated mint for your aligners. The edible mints will also freshen your breath at the same time.
Remember, to make your Invisalign treatment work and end on time, your Invisalign clear aligners should fit snugly and perfectly over your teeth every time you wear them. If you often find yourself needing help to make this happen, getting Invisalign chewies will be a great help for you.
Invisalign is a very effective but also costly orthodontic treatment. You should do everything you can to follow all the rules and make sure that your treatment plan is working to avoid additional costs.
Getting aligner chewies to go along with your clear aligner treatment is one of the best ways to ensure that Invisalign will give you a straighter and better smile.