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What Are Aligner Chewies? Do You Really Need Them?

Updated: Mar 10

Orthodontic treatments have changed a lot in recent years. Although traditional metal braces are still the norm, clear aligners are quickly increasing in popularity. As more people choose these aligners, a number of accessories have come forth. Today, we will talk about one such aid called aligner chewie.

This tool helps make sure the aligners fit well on the teeth. Some people wonder about them and ask if they're really necessary. This article will explain what aligner chewies are, how they help, and then you can decide for yourself if you truly need them.


Table Of Contents




What Are Aligner Chewies? Do You Really Need Them?


What Exactly Are Aligner Chewies


Aligner chewies are simple tools used by people who wear aligners for their teeth. They look like small foam cylinders. These chewies are made of a strong material called Styrene Ethylene Butylene Styrene, or SEBS for short. This material is special because when you press it, it returns to its old shape quickly.

People use these chewies to make sure their aligners fit their teeth just right. When a new aligner is worn, sometimes it doesn’t fit perfectly from the start. Biting down on these chewies helps the aligner fit better. They play a crucial role in ensuring that you aligner work how they are supposed to.



Why use them at all?


As mentioned previously, when you put on new aligners, sometimes they don't fit your teeth perfectly. This is where chewies come in. They help the aligners sit snugly on your teeth. If the aligners aren’t fitting right, they won't do their job of moving your teeth. And that's not what you want. You want your treatment to go smoothly and your teeth to move in the right direction. Using chewies ensures that your aligners are working at their best. If you skip out on using them, your treatment might take longer than expected.



Usage Duration and Frequency


When you get a new pair of aligners, you might wonder how often and for how long you should use chewies. Typically, dentists advise patients to use chewies right after putting in a new set of aligners. This should be for about 5 to 10 minutes.


But that's not the only time you can use them. If during the day you feel that your aligners aren't fitting snugly against your teeth, you can use chewies again. It's all about making sure your aligners are in the right place. So, in simple terms, use chewies for a short time after you put your aligners in. And if you think you need to, use them a few more times during the day.



Care and Maintenance


Taking care of aligner chewies is straightforward. They should be washed after each use, much like you would with a toothbrush. Just put them under running water, give them a quick rinse, and let them air dry. It's also a good idea to keep them stored in a clean spot when you're not using them.


If you notice that your chewies are starting to wear out, it's a sign that you should get new ones. Typically, it's a good practice to switch to fresh chewies about once a week. Remember, maintaining your chewies is not only about ensuring they work well but also about keeping your oral hygiene in top shape. So, always keep them as clean as possible and replace them when needed.



Alternatives to Chewies


While chewies have become popular for helping aligners fit snugly, not everyone is a fan. If you're one of those people, you'll be pleased to hear there are other options. One such alternative is 'Munchies'. Munchies are made from materials distinct from chewies and have their own unique feel, but they aim to achieve the same result: ensuring your aligners are positioned just right on your teeth.


Another option to consider is aligner seaters. These devices, like Munchies, are designed to help make sure your aligners are sitting correctly on your teeth. It's good to know that if chewies aren't to your liking or if you're just curious about trying something different, there are other reliable tools available to assist in your aligner journey.



Are They Essential to Treatment?


Chewies can help a lot when you're using aligners for your teeth. They make sure the aligners fit snugly and do their job well. But here's the thing: not all dentists think you must have them. Some believe they are very useful, while others might say they're not a must-have.


When you want the best results and a comfortable experience, many experts say chewies are good to have. Think of them as an added tool to help you get the most from your aligners. However, everyone's mouth and treatment needs are different. So, it's best to talk with your own dentist or orthodontist. They'll guide you on whether chewies are right for you.



Potential Side Effects


When using chewies for aligners, most people don't face any problems. But, like anything else, if you use them too much or too hard, you might feel some discomfort. This is more common if you're using a new set of aligners.


So, if you press too hard with chewies on new aligners, your teeth might feel sore or a bit painful. It's essential to follow your orthodontist's guidance. They know the best way for you to use chewies without causing any unnecessary pain or problems. If you ever feel like something isn't right, it's a good idea to talk to your orthodontist.



Cost and Availability


If you're wondering about the price of aligner chewies, you'll be pleased to know they won't break the bank. Many people find them reasonably priced. You can easily get them from your orthodontist when you visit for your regular check-ups. But if you prefer shopping online, many trusted stores sell them too. Because they're not expensive, most people using aligners can easily add them to their dental care routine. So, if you're thinking about using aligner chewies to ensure a snug fit for your dental aligners, the cost shouldn't be a big concern.



Conclusion


Aligner chewies, though small in size, play a significant role in orthodontic treatments involving clear aligners. They ensure that aligners fit correctly and perform their function effectively. As with any tool, its necessity varies by individual preference and expert recommendation. Ultimately, while they are accessible and affordable, the decision to use them should be based on personal comfort and professional guidance.



FAQ


Q: What are aligner chewies?


A: Aligner chewies are small cylindrical foam or rubber-like objects that are used to help seat aligners more firmly against the teeth. They provide additional pressure and help to ensure a snug fit.



Q: Why do I need aligner chewies?


A: Aligner chewies can be beneficial for improving the effectiveness of your aligner treatment. They help to ensure that the aligners are fully engaged with the teeth, promoting better tooth movement and alignment.



Q: How often should I use aligner chewies?


A: It is recommended to use aligner chewies for a few minutes multiple times per day, especially after inserting a new set of aligners. Follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist or aligner manufacturer.



Q: Can aligner chewies help with discomfort during treatment?


A: Yes, aligner chewies can help alleviate any discomfort or pressure you may experience when wearing aligners. By biting on the chewies, you can help seat the aligners more securely and reduce any discomfort.



Q: Can I use any type of chewie for my aligners?


A: It is best to use the chewies recommended by your orthodontist or aligner provider. They are specifically designed for aligner use and provide the appropriate amount of cushioning and pressure.


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