This is a guest post from Dr. Amanda Cheng, a Harvard Graduate and Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. Dr. Cheng operates Days to Smile Orthodontics in downtown San Francisco.
All of my patients are excited to start their Invisalign journey to finally correct their crooked, uneven and sometimes protruding teeth. To get that perfect smile, they know they not only have to wear their aligners 22 hours a day, but the trays must fit snugly over their teeth to accurately mold them to the position of the Invisalign trays.
Accuracy is important when straightening your teeth. The precision movements generated by clear aligners ensures that a patient’s treatment goes smoothly and produces beautiful, expected results at the end of treatment. Appropriate fit is the name of the game here, and often requires some extra work from the patients.
The Importance of Chewing Exercises for Aligner Tracking
In my practice, I recommend patients use “chewies” to correctly seat their trays over the teeth. Basically you use Invisalign chewies during treatment to generate chewing pressure that moves the teeth according to the shape of the Invisalign trays, and ultimately in accordance with the gradual straightening of the patient’s teeth. Recently I discovered an alternative to Invisalign chewies which have the same benefits, but offer much more comfort and convenience for my patients.
The alternative is Movemints clear aligner mints, which were designed by one of my orthodontic colleagues to provide a fresher, more convenient way to seat trays. Movemints have a patented groove that fits between the top and bottom trays, and are firm enough to withstand the gentle pressure needed to ensure proper aligner fit.
Why do my patients like Movemints more than Chewies?
Chewies are great but they do have some drawbacks. For instance, patients often lose them, or they roll out of their Invisalign cases and can’t be reused when they fall on the ground. When patients do manage to reuse chewies, after some time they will start to smell as saliva gets stuck in the porous styrofoam which is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
The same smells can occur in their Invisalign trays, which they can clean with Retainer Brite. Simply put, chewies are not super sanitary if your treatment is continuing for months and months. Furthermore, chewing on styrofoam is just not a good look, and many of my patients are already self-conscious about wearing invisible braces (and the resulting bad breath and dry mouth) so they don’t want to further impact their social life.
Giving my patients a way to go about their day without feeling conscious about bad breath is crucial for an enjoyable Invisalign treatment. It is also crucial for compliance, as the more confident I can help my patients feel, the more likely they are to adhere to the 22 hours per day of recommended wear time.
With Movemints, my patients can basically pop in a mint and move it around their mouth while they do their chewing exercises, thereby promoting the appropriate fit for their invisible teeth aligners. The spearmint flavor freshens their breath and the satin finish provides an excellent mouth feel. Movemints are specially designed for aligners and will not break or damage the Invisalign trays. As mentioned, the shape allows my patients to easily seat the trays against their front teeth. This is where the most attention is required, because the front teeth determines the smile arc and affects how others appreciate your smile.
A lot of my patients love Movemints because they miss chewing gum to freshen their breath. Obviously, chewing gum is not practical when wearing Invisalign because it is much too sticky and can adversely impact the fit of their trays. Movemints are not sticky and they also taste great! Thankfully, now my patients have the dual benefit of Movemints to discreetly seat their trays while they freshen breath. No more worrying about aligner fit or bad odors!
Additional Benefits of Movemints For Clear Aligner Patients
Movemints are sugar free so my patients don’t have to worry about brushing their teeth or having sugar get stuck on their Invisalign trays. This is important because sugars create a reservoir for bacteria that will cause cavities.
We all hate cavities so to make things even better, Movemints contain a rare but natural sweetener known as xylitol which has bacteriostatic effects. This means that xylitol will reduce the ability of bacteria to create cavities in your mouth! Xylitol is very low in calories so patients won’t gain weight no matter how many Movemints they eat, and they are diabetic-friendly and gluten free too!
Another key benefit of Movemints is they will stimulate salivary flow when patients chew them. Saliva will prevent dry mouth which means less irritation from the sides of the Invisalign tray against the mucosa of your gums. Saliva is also a natural cleansing agent for our teeth and gums, so Movemints help patients keep moisture in their mouth which helps fight bad breath.
Why am I the first orthodontist in San Francisco to provide Movemints?
I have a very boutique clinic and I love improving my patient’s experience during their Invisalign treatment. I care about my patient’s well being and the convenience of Movemints makes my patients a lot more compliant with their treatment. This means they are wearing their trays longer, and the trays fitting better around their teeth.
After evaluating hundreds of patients, my refinement rate is about 8% and my treatments have also been shorter as patients are motivated to wear their Invisalign trays without any bad breath. A lot of my patients have very busy schedules with the need to travel, endure back to back meetings, and participate in public speaking.
Movemints are individually packaged and can be conveniently placed in their bags so they can easily incorporate them into their busy lifestyle. As some of my engineering patients have mentioned, “these Movemints need to be incorporated into the Micro-Kitchens at our company along with the almond butter cups and chia bars.”
With the ability to buy individual samples of Movemints from their online store, that request is only a click away!