Aligner trays and chewies go together like peanut butter and jelly, like wine and cheese, like Han Solo and, well, Chewie. If you’re new to the Invisalign journey, you may not be familiar with these soft cylinders, but chewies are a big part of your smile’s success! They are made of a spongy material called Styrene Copolymer. As the name suggests, these little guys are distant cousins of polystyrene packing peanuts. But don’t worry, chewies taste much better and have a very special job when it comes to your orthodontic treatment.
Sealing the Cracks
For each stage of your Invisalign treatment you get a new set of aligner trays that is slightly different from the last. This is to encourage your teeth and jaw in the desired direction. When you first get a new set of trays, they aren’t going to fit like a glove. If they did you’d end up with the same smile at the end of the process! To get the aligners into place properly, we recommend that our patients use chewies to help close gaps between your teeth and the aligner trays. That tight fit will actually help your treatment progress faster.
Chewing the Chewies
Using chewies properly isn’t exactly like munching on Hi-Chews. You’ll want to start at one end of your mouth and position the cylinder between your upper and lower teeth. Bite down firmly, but not hard enough to hurt yourself. Slide the chewie along your teeth and continue to pause to bite down, ensuring that every tooth has made contact with it. Repeat this process several times over. Your orthodontist can help you determine how many times you will need to do this in a day.
Keeping Them Clean
Luckily chewies aren’t disposable, so you can keep using them for quite a while before they lose elasticity. Just remember to wash them after each use, you don’t want bad bacteria sliding in your trays and messing up your progress! Different brands will have their own longevity, so be sure to check with your orthodontist to see how long you can keep chewing.
Chewies may not be the most glamorous pieces of orthodontic equipment, but they are a great supplement to your Invisalign treatment. For questions about how Invisalign can help you smile, contact us today!