Avoiding the ‘chewie’ trap
Popular ‘aligner chewies’ are counterproductive to Invisalign treatment
WHAT ARE CHEWIES
Chewies, Munchies, Movemints, and other similar accessories are all different varieties of small, usually plastic, tools promoted to fix poorly fitting aligners by ‘chewing’ on them for several minutes. Despite their popularity on social media platforms, such as TikTok and internet forums, and continued advocacy from some professionals who have not kept up with technological advances, these accessories can be detrimental to your precision clear aligner treatment. Instead of helping, they actually cause distortion of your aligners, making it more difficult to achieve the desired results. We refer to them around the office as “weapons of mass distortion.”
WHY CHEWIES ARE A BAD IDEA
When using Invisalign clear aligners as your orthodontic treatment option, you want your aligners to fit properly around your teeth. This requires consistent, full-time wear (only taking them out to eat and brush) each day so that your teeth stay on track with your doctor’s prescribed movements. If your teeth fall behind due to inadequate wear, or a missing attachment, your clear aligners will become visibly ‘unseated’, i.e. not fitting snugly, and they can no longer push on the correct areas of your teeth. This mismatch between your current tooth position and your current aligner leads to discomfort, and incorrect movements, and will delay your treatment.
Prior to the advent of innovations such as SmartTrack Material and SmartForce Features used by Invisalign specifically, clear aligners used to be made of very stiff plastics that were very challenging to keep “seated” on the teeth. Aligner chewies and munchies arrived on the scene to “improve” fit issues. However, as clear aligner technology has advanced, less stiff aligner materials were developed to provide improved fit and comfort, and the shaping of aligners evolved to integrate specialized contouring features, proprietary to Invisalign, for more efficient and consistent tooth movements. Not only have Chewies become obsolete, but they are also counterproductive to modern clear aligner therapy. Smashing poorly fitting aligners down onto teeth only creates the illusion of improved ‘fit’ by distorting your precision-made clear aligners.
HOW INVISALIGN CLEAR ALIGNERS WORK TO ACHIEVE GREAT SMILES
During your Invisalign treatment journey, you will receive a series of clear aligners that you will switch out – usually every 1 to 2 weeks. Tooth movements and changes to your jaws happen gradually as the cells in your body remodel bone and tissue, so it is important that your aligners do not challenge your physiology or overwhelm it. Opting for lighter forces will actually speed up tooth movement, and your orthodontist will design your aligners to deliver gentle, yet consistent, forces in each successive tray of your aligner series.
To best achieve the prescribed movements, the Invisalign clear aligner system also alters the shape of each aligner through proprietary contouring features, guided by your doctor’s prescription. These SmartForce® features are a combination of targeted pressure areas for activation and aligner spaces to remove unwanted interferences allowing for greater precision. It is essential that these features are allowed to work as designed and are not disrupted by the misuse of Chewies.
HATCHER & FREY ORTHODONTICS WANTS THE BEST OUTCOME FOR YOU
When you distort the unique shaping of your Invisalign clear aligners, that undermines the force systems we have expertly prescribed into your clear aligners to achieve the best smile possible. We not only want you to have a great treatment experience but a great result, too. Just say no to Chewies.
Learn more about what makes our treatment approaches different at www.smile-365.com.