What Are Aligner Chewies Used For? Your Questions Answered

Written by Dr. Febin George, BDS | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Shaista Salam, BDS

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Understanding chewies for aligners 

Wondering what are aligner chewies? This article will help you understand everything about aligner chewies including the ways they should be used.

What are aligner chewies?

Chewies are small, cylindrical, cotton roll-like devices made of a soft and pliable material.  

Purpose in orthodontic treatment

The primary purpose of chewies is to aid in the seating of clear aligners on the teeth. Aligners need to fit snugly on your teeth and apply gentle, consistent pressure to guide the teeth into their desired positions. Chewies help achieve this by providing a means to bite down and apply even pressure to the aligners.

What are aligner chewies made of?

Chewies are made from medical-grade polymer materials such as Styrene Copolymer or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).(2) Apart from being durable, these materials are resistant to deformation. These physical properties allow the chewies to withstand repeated biting forces without getting distorted.

How do chewies work?

When you wear your first set of clear aligners, they may not fit the way you want them to. The gap present between the teeth and the aligners shows that you are wearing an ill-fitting clear aligner. Chewies work their magic in such situations.

By biting down on the chewies repeatedly and applying pressure, gaps between the aligners and teeth can be reduced, ensuring a better fit. As they are soft, they can conform to the shape of the teeth and aligners, making it easier to push the aligners into the correct position. This way chewies help in ensuring the effectiveness of the aligner treatment through more predictable tooth movements.

Benefits of using chewies for aligners

Tooth movement

Chewies help promote more efficient and predictable tooth movements. By applying gentle pressure to the aligners, they ensure that the aligners are properly seated and exert the intended force on the teeth. This can contribute to more effective and timely tooth alignment.

Enhanced aligner seating

Chewies help in removing the air gaps between the aligners and teeth thereby, ensuring a closer fit that can guide the teeth into the desired position more effectively.

Fit and proper alignment of aligners

An accurate fit of aligners is essential for the success of orthodontic treatment. Precise fit and correct alignment of the clear aligners offer better control over tooth movement. 

Comfort and pain relief

Think about an ill-fitting pair of shoes. The mere thought is enough to elicit an ‘ouch’ from you! Chewies protect you from that “ouch” by ensuring that the aligners fit you properly. Although you can expect some soreness when you transition to the next step of aligners, chewies aid in the uniform distribution of forces and prevent localized discomfort or pain.

Speech clarity

Some people may experience minor speech difficulties or find it challenging to adapt to having a foreign object in their mouth. Chewies come in handy in such situations as they promote aligner seating thereby, enhancing speech clarity.

How to use aligner chewies? Step-by-step

For your chewies to act efficiently, just follow these steps:

  1. Place your aligners on your teeth just the way your dentist has directed you to do. Position them to get the most snug fit possible.
  2. Now, place the chewie between your upper and lower teeth.
  3. Bite strongly on the chewie for a few seconds.
  4. Roll the chewie to the next spot and bite hard again for a few seconds.
  5. It is advisable to start from one side and then proceed to the other side while gradually taking breaks in the middle to relocate your chewie.

Frequency and duration

Hold the aligner chewies at one position for a minimum of 10 to 15 seconds and then release. Repeat the same exercise after five minutes twice a day.(1)

Maintenance and cleaning

Clean your aligner chewies by rinsing them thoroughly in plain water. To reduce the chances of bacterial growth on chewies, ensure to wash them with mild soap or  a diluted solution of your handwash.

Do chewies move teeth faster? Myths & facts

While chewies do not directly move teeth faster on their own, they can play a beneficial role in the treatment process. When you bite down on the chewie, it helps to push the aligners into the correct position, making them fit more securely against your teeth. This ensures that the aligners are applying the right amount of pressure to move your teeth effectively. This way, chewies help in allowing the orthodontic treatment to progress as planned by avoiding unnecessary delay due to poor fit.

Alternatives to chewies

Here are a few common alternatives to aligner chewies:

  • Movemints- Although aligner chewies appear deliciously edible, they cannot be eaten. For those who wish to have an edible alternative, they can choose Movemints, an edible mint that can be chewed to fix the aligner position and then swallowed later. 
  • Munchies- These products are made of silicon and they bounce back to their original shape after you release your bite. They come in a range of hardness options starting from gentle till firm.
  • Paper towel- They are the simplest alternative to aligner chewies. You need to roll it such that it is as thick as your pinky finger. Now you can bite and chew on it so that there are no air gaps between your aligners and teeth. Discard the paper towel roll after use.


Aligner chewies serve an important role in your journey to a beautiful smile as they ensure a perfect fit over your teeth. They avoid any setbacks during your treatment by eliminating air pockets or gaps.

With just 5 minutes of gentle biting twice a day, the chewies help your aligners settle seamlessly into position, providing an optimal and snug fit. Your dentist or orthodontist will give you the necessary guidance on how to use the chewies effectively. They might even provide you with a set of chewies to get you started on your path to a beautifully aligned smile.

Together with expert guidance and diligent care, you'll be well on your way to achieving the confident smile you've always desired!



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