What are Power Chain Braces? How to Take Care of Them?

Power chain braces

If you wear braces already or are going to get braces, power chain might be something you would have heard of. It is an elastic chain that your orthodontist can use to apply extra force. Let’s get to know more about power chain braces.

What are Power Chains for Braces?

Traditional dental braces consist of separate brackets attached to each tooth held together by a wire running across your teeth. This wire is secured to each bracket with individual o-rings or ligatures (elastics) These ligatures that hold the metal wire in place for your braces can be made of elastic bands or chains. Your bracket will have its own individual ligature, but the power chain connects them all together to form an even stronger bond than just using one by itself would provide.

How Do Power Chain Braces Work?

Power chain braces are traditional brackets enhanced with a string of connected rubber bands; they draw teeth together faster than standard braces with o-shaped ligatures. They may be applied by the end of your treatment by your orthodontist to close any remaining gap between your teeth with the additional pressure. Some of their benefits include –

  • Power chain braces exert more pressure on your teeth and help show results faster.
  • They are easy to place, and your orthodontist can cut the exact length you need from a spool of power chain elastic.
  • Power chain braces are versatile and can be used to treat several conditions, such as closing gaps between your teeth and promoting even spacing, aligning crooked teeth, and correcting your dental midline.

Types of Power Chains for Braces

There are several types of power chains for braces and the specific one which will suit you will depend on your orthodontic needs. Here are the types of power chains for braces –

  1. Closed Power Chains – they connect at every tooth
  2. Short Power Chains – they connect at every other tooth
  3. Long Power Chains—they connect at every third tooth

Each type has different diameters between the centers of each loop that control which bracket the loop fits onto.

What is the Purpose of Power Chain Braces?

Power chain braces are used for several different types of treatment.

  1. Closing Gaps in Teeth : Gaps might either occur naturally or during an orthodontist treatment. Power chain braces are used to correct them.
  2. Promoting Even Spacing: When your teeth need further dental procedures such as fillings, crowns or veneers, power chain braces can help create even spacing between your teeth.
  3. Aligning Crooked Teeth: Power chain braces gradually bring crooked teeth into alignment by applying constant pressure.
  4. Rotating Teeth: Power chain braces can be used to gradually turn teeth that are rotated.
  5. Bite Correction : Childhood habits, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, lead to misalignment of your teeth. Power chain braces can be used to correct how your top and bottom mouth come together when your mouth is closed or the way you bite

Risks and Side Effects of Power Chain Braces

As with any type of braces, power chain braces come with risks and side effects.

  1. Gum Diseases and Tooth Decay

    Having braces can make it difficult to clean your teeth, leading to the buildup of plaque and allowing bacteria to enter your gums, leading to infection. Brushing several times a day can be an effective solution.

  2. Short Tooth Roots

    Tooth roots keep your teeth anchored to the jaw, and applying extra pressure on the teeth can lead to root resorption (shortening of tooth roots). It is not a concern for most people, and the process stops when your braces are removed.

  3. Lost Correction

    As with any other type of braces, power chain braces removal can lead to your teeth shifting out of place when your braces are removed. Wearing a retainer for a time period after braces removal can keep your teeth aligned.
  4. Pain

    You may experience some discomfort when you get your braces put on. However, it resolves within a week or after having your braces adjusted.

  5. Ongoing Adjustments

    Power chain braces require adjustments generally every four to six weeks as your teeth move.

Who Needs Power Chain Braces?

Children, teens, and adults suitable for traditional metal braces can choose power chain braces instead. Each person’s orthodontic treatment needs are different. Whether or not you need braces, power chain braces included, is a decision you and your orthodontist can take depending on your needs, budget, and lifestyle.

Power Chain Colors

Power chain color choices are the same as ligature color choices, and you and your orthodontist can decide regarding it depending on your lifestyle and preferences. Your diet can cause the power chains to become stained or change color. Silver or smoke-colored power chains are the best for stain resistance. Power chains are changed every visit, so you can try a different color or get a new set when your braces get stained.

How Long Will I Need to Wear Power Chains?

The severity of your teeth misalignment, age, and other factors play a role and braces treatment length can vary anywhere from 6 months to over three years. Power chains are added at the end of the treatment, so you would only be wearing them for a few months.

How to Care for Power Chain Braces?

It is critical to take care of your power chain braces. Here’s how you can do it –

  1. Rinsing

    Dislodge any stubborn food particles by thoroughly rinsing your mouth after brushing and flossing.

    Brush gently after each meal: Brush your teeth after each meal to avoid plaque buildup, and do so gently to reduce stress on your braces and power chain.

  2. Avoid certain foods
    Aim to avoid –

    • Sticky foods – Sticky food items can get stuck to and pull on your braces and power chain.
    • Hard foods – Hard food items can lead to breaks in your braces or power chain.
    • High-sugar foods – Such food can promote the formation of plaque.
  3. Inspecting your mouth

    Look for breaks or areas that appear damaged after cleaning your teeth.
  4. Flossing

    Flossing removes food in between your braces and power chain and also from in between your teeth.

What to Do if Your Braces’ Power Chain Breaks?

You may notice a break in your braces’ power chain while cleaning your teeth. Call your orthodontist promptly, as a break in your power chain braces can make them less effective. You might need to get them replaced, which can be achieved in a short office visit.

Wrapping Up

Power chain braces may seem uncomfortable and high-maintenance, but the beautiful smile you will flash will definitely make it worth it. If you have any queries regarding power chain braces, you can make an appointment with us, and our orthodontist in Carmel Hamlet and Briarcliff Manor will solve your queries.

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Dr. Satish Pai

Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence.  As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. 

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