The following information was provided by ARK Therapeutic
Need help choosing which chew tools will be the best fit? You've come to the right place! Below is an in-depth explanation of the different hardness levels for ARK chews, what the best recommendations are, and more.
HOW OLD IS THE CHILD/PERSON?
For 5 years and up: ARK chew necklaces and bracelets become an option as well.
For 6-7 years and up: ARK pencil topper chews become a great fit too, especially for schoolwork.
DOES THE PERSON CHEW WITH THEIR BACK TEETH, FRONT TEETH, OR BOTH?
If the person currently chews on things with their back teeth, you'll want to get a chew tool with a long slender extension that can reach the back teeth (ARK's Grabber, Guitar, Y-Chew, Bite-Saber). If they chew mostly with their front teeth and/or pre-molars, you have a wider selection to choose from, as shape doesn't matter much in that case (you can chew on any tool with your front teeth).
DOES THE PERSON CHEW THROUGH/CAUSE DAMAGE TO WHAT THEY CURRENTLY CHEW ON?
All ARK chews come in 3 colour-coded toughness levels:
* Standard/Soft- the softest, "chewiest" option that you can "sink your teeth" into the most. Recommended for mild chewing (individuals who do not chew through anything that they chew on).
* XT/Medium Firm- XT stands for "Xtra Tough." This option is firmer, but still fairly chewy. Recommend for moderate chewing (for individuals who sometimes chew through things and/or have chewed through the standard level before).
* XXT/Super Firm- XXT stands for "Xtra Xtra 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.
We recommend starting with the standard/soft level by default. Unless the person chews through or causes damage to things that they are currently chewing on, in which case it's best to go up to the middle XT level (if you want something that will last longer).
If someone does chew through things- it's possible they may eventually need the toughest XXT level, but we usually don't recommend getting that one to start with (unless they've already chewed through other chews and/or very hard items like legos, hard plastic toys, wooden items etc). Otherwise, XXT may be too hard for their liking.
When in doubt we always recommend leaning towards something softer rather than harder. We've never heard anyone ever say that 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.
Check out the entire range of Chew Tools here.
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