How to choose the right chewable
Now that we have such a wide range of chewables, we often get questions about them. Chewable necklaces and pencil toppers come in many shapes and levels of toughness. How do you know which one is right for you? And how long are they supposed to last?
Well, the softer chews are better for those who chew lightly on objects, while the tougher (and harder) chews are designed for those who prefer to bite down hard on objects. Although we have done our best to source sturdy chewables, it is important to note that no chew tool is indestructible. Wear and tear will be expected given the nature of the intended use. How long a chewable will last will depend on how a it is used, how often, and the intensity of its use by your child. Other variables, such as jaw strength, stress/anxiety levels may also influence the longevity of a chewable tool.
For some children, a chew tool will last a long time. For others with heavy or aggressive oral needs, they may go through it very quickly and sometimes it may only last a few hours. What is important, is that a chewable will never last forever and that you have to choose the right one, which might sometimes mean experimenting with the different options.
We have now changed our range of chewables to categorize them in three levels:
- Standard - the softest, “chewiest” option that you can “sink your teeth” into the most and also the option that will work for the majority of individuals. Recommended for those who do not chew right through anything that they chew on.
- Tough - This option is firmer, but still fairly chewy. Recommended for individuals who sometimes chew through things and/or have chewed through the standard level before.
- Extra Tough - This is the most firm option. These are pretty tough and rigid, but still chewable. Although no chew tool is indestructible, this is usually the longest lasting level in any given shape for heavy chewers.
While we stock several options, only the extra tough chewables available on our website are part of the ARK Therapeutic range of chewables. Even though they are more expensive, their quality makes them worth it. Please note that all ARK chewables on our website are indicated by the ARK prefix. Other chewables on our website are not ARK chewables.
We recommend starting with the standard/softest level, unless your child causes damage to things that they currently chew on, in which case it's usually best to go up to the tougher level, if you want the chewable to last a bit longer.
If someone does chew through things - it's possible they may eventually need the Extra Tough level, but we usually don't recommend getting that one from the start (unless they've already chewed through other chews or very hard items like legos, hard plastic toys, wooden items, etc.). Otherwise, Extra Tough may be too hard for their liking.
All chewelry will tear, break and dent in time. Our customers tell us that their children all have a favorite and a chewable which is tougher to chew through for one person, may not be for the next. Some even choose to have more than one chewable, a softer one for when they are calm and a second tougher one for times of great anxiety and stress where chewing increases.
Once damaged, the chewables MUST be discarded and replaced. The breakaway clasp and cord are also NOT for chewing and are purely to hold the necklace in place. If you think that you or your child will chew the clasp then this product may not be suitable and you would be better with a bracelet or a pencil topper.
When in doubt, we always recommend leaning towards something softer rather than harder. We've never had anyone ever say they didn't like a chew because it was too soft (they may eventually chew through it and need something tougher, but they'll still use the chewier ones). But we do sometimes hear that someone didn't like their chew because it was too hard.
Important to Know:
- Some kids may want a variety of chew tool shapes and toughness levels. Sensory preferences can vary from day to day or even hour to hour. At times they may want something very chewy (the standard level). At other times they may want something more rigid that provides a lot of resistance.
- Keep in mind that everyone has different preferences. We’ve had parents tell us that the Extra Tough is too tough for their child, but when their child actually tries it, he/she loves it. Extra Tough may feel too tough for one person’s jaw, but for others it is just right. We all have different levels of sensory needs.
- Sensory preferences always differ - Which means that someone may prefer to chew on the Standard level, but needs the Extra Tough in terms of intensity. In this case, it’s best to stick with the softer chews that they prefer. They may chew through them more quickly, but at least they will use them instead of chewing on other potentially harmful items.
- When it comes to oral sensory needs, chew tools are usually just one piece of the puzzle. A very important piece, but only one piece. Other sensory / calming strategies are usually also needed and very helpful.