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Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners to straighten teeth. It’s a common alternative to traditional metal braces.
A certified Invisalign provider creates a series of aligners by taking impressions or digital scans of your teeth. Each aligner slowly moves your teeth into the correct position.
You’ll usually wear the aligners for 1 to 2 weeks before switching to the next set. For best results, be sure to keep them in for 22+ hours a day. You can remove them to eat, drink, and brush your teeth.
Invisalign aligners should fit snugly over your teeth. To help set them correctly, you can use Invisalign chewies. These are also known as aligner seaters or chewies.
Invisalign chewies are soft, plastic cylinders. They’re about the size of a cotton ball.
After putting your aligners in, bite down on the chewies for several seconds. Then, move them around your mouth until the aligners feel snug.
This consistent biting action helps the aligners conform to your teeth's shape better.6 You can also bite down on the chewies in areas that feel tight to ensure a proper fit.
Chewies also help move your teeth into their new positions. Treatment may be delayed if you don’t use them regularly.
You can buy chewies in multipacks on Amazon. They’re reusable, so you don’t need to spend too much money replacing them each time. But once your Invisalign chewie loses shape, it’s time for a fresh one.
You should use chewies a few times a day for 5 minutes, especially when starting a new aligner set. To reuse chewies, wash them with soap or toothpaste and rinse thoroughly afterward.
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The proper fit of aligners is essential for successful treatment. And, Invisalign chewies improve their fit, so using them can speed up treatment time.
In contrast, wearing aligners that don’t fit properly can slow treatment. This is why chewies seem to quicken treatment.
You’ll need to use chewies when you:
For chewies to work well, it’s essential to use them correctly. Follow these steps:
Your provider may also give you instructions for when and how long to use chewies. For example, if a certain area doesn’t seem to fit well, you will only use the chewie in that spot.
You can tell when an aligner isn’t fitting well if there’s an obvious ‘air gap’ between your teeth and the aligner. The aligner may also feel tight or uncomfortable in that area.
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Yes, aligner chewies work. Chewing exercises stimulate tooth movement and set the aligners better over your teeth.
Chewies also promote blood flow to your teeth and gums. This can provide pain relief.
To get the most of your Invisalign treatment, use chewies at least twice a day for around 5 minutes.1
If your aligners aren’t fitted correctly, it can delay results and lead to a need for Invisalign refinements. These are additional aligners added on at the end of treatment to correct any discrepancies.
When you place an aligner, it applies gentle pressure to your teeth to move them. This may cause pain or discomfort, especially if you just started treatment or switched to a new aligner set.
While discomfort is often a part of Invisalign treatment, chewies can contribute to it as well. This is because chewies require a repeated chewing motion, so your jaw may become slightly sore.
Discomfort or pain due to a new aligner or chewie usually goes away over time. In the meantime, you can reduce symptoms by using an over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Your provider will likely give you a supply of chewies when you begin Invisalign treatment.
If you run out, ask your orthodontist or dentist for more. Alternatively, you can find chewies or similar products in the dental section of a grocery or drug store.
A vast selection of chewies are also available on Amazon.
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Chewies are only one type of aligner seater. Alternatives include:
Another simple alternative is a clean paper towel. Simply roll the paper towel to the thickness of your pinky finger and chew it for several minutes. This should improve your aligner fit. Throw away the paper towel after use.