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Braces And Power Chains

Close up of braces and power chains
Braces can successfully address a wide variety of smile concerns, but there are times when your orthodontist, Dr. Gibbs may use power chains to aid the movement of teeth. If your smile is dotted with gaps or you suffer from malocclusion, your dentist may put on power chains for straightening teeth and correcting specific issues with your alignment. Schedule a visit to Gibbs Orthodontics Associates if you want to know more about braces and power chains and how they can help you achieve desired outcomes.

Power chains speed up the treatment process and ensure you achieve your orthodontic goals without experiencing delays. With expertise in braces and power chains, Dr. Gibbs meets and exceeds your every orthodontic need and gives you a chance to laugh more and worry less about your misaligned or crooked teeth.  

Braces are an effective multi-use orthodontic solution that straightens crowded or crooked teeth, or a misaligned jaw, known as malocclusion, and give you better smiles. Traditional braces are made of metal brackets that are attached individually to each tooth. An archwire puts pressure on your teeth and jawline, and elastic rings connect the archwire to the brackets.

Sometimes braces need a little help to effectively and quickly straighten teeth and resolve any problems. A power chain on the braces is often used by orthodontists to resolve dental problems towards the end of orthodontic treatment.  The specialist will connect the power chains to the brackets, and the elastic will sit on top of the wires that make up the braces.

It is essential to know that power chains do not replace any part of the traditional braces.  The extra force given by power chains expedites the treatment and finishes up the process of aligning the teeth in the desired position.

What are power chains?

Blue power chains on top and bottom bracesPower chains are a chain that has the power to make your teeth close gaps and align even faster. They are strings of elastic rings or many ‘O’-shaped rubber bands that are linked together and look like a chain.  In some cases, the power chains can be made of metal twists instead of elastic.

These chains are typically used to help with a variety of dental issues. They add more pressure and force in moving the teeth than conventional brackets and wires.

When used together, braces and power chains are highly effective for achieving satisfactory results in a short time.  They have grown popular due to the versatility and benefits they offer.

How do power chains work?

Power chains are additional components that the specialist may use with traditional braces to enhance their force. They are connected strings of ligatures or elastics.

Power chains work with braces to apply more force, close gaps between the teeth, and increase treatment efficiency considerably. They can also align teeth and jaw effectively.

While typical elastics fit over each bracket individually, the power chains connect the brackets. These chains form a continuous band that runs across the teeth.  A power chain can be used for some teeth, while others will have traditional ligatures around the brackets.  This combination of ligatures and power chains makes an orthodontist’s job easy and helps to achieve multiple treatment objectives.

What do power chains do?

Power chains are used for closing spaces after a tooth is extracted or for generalized spacing between the teeth. As power chains exert more force than brackets and wires, they can speed up the treatment process and save time.

Your orthodontist might choose to use power chain elastomeric for the following reasons:

  • To exert more force – Power chains are stronger than normal ligatures, and they can increase the amount of pressure exerted on the teeth.
  • Easy application – Power chains are easy to apply. The row of O-rings is continuous, and each O-ring is stretched to fit around the brackets on each of your teeth.
  • Multiple uses – Power chain can be used for treating multiple dental issues, including dental spaces, misalignments, malocclusions, crooked teeth, rotating teeth, and dental midline deviation.

They form a continuous band across each of your teeth to put more pressure and accomplish their goal.

Treatment goals with power chain braces

Power chains on braces are used for treating several types of dental issues, including:

  • Closing gaps between teeth – Power chain elastromerics can successfully close the gaps between teeth that either occurs naturally or during some dental treatment.
  • Promoting even spacing – Power chain elastomerics help to create even spacing between the teeth, most often in cases when teeth need further dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, or veneers.
  • Aligning crooked teeth – The chains apply constant pressure to slowly bring crooked teeth back into alignment.
  • Rotating teeth – Power chains can turn the teeth that are rotated over some time.
  • Correcting bite – Power chains correct the way you bite or the way your top and bottom teeth come together when you close your mouth.

Malocclusion, or misalignment of teeth, can occur from childhood habits such as tongue thrashing or thumb-sucking. Power chain braces can correct these problems and ensure you get the best treatment for all types of orthodontic issues.

Types of power chains  

Closed, short, long power chains
Closed, short, long power chains

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. You can get the right power chains to address your specific orthodontic issues after orthodontist’s guidance.

There are three different types and levels of power chains on braces.  Each type has different diameters between the centers of each loop that control which bracket the loop fits onto.

Types of power chains include:

  • Closed – they connect at every tooth
  • Short – they connect at every other tooth
  • Long – they connect at every third tooth

Dr. Gibbs will examine your teeth and determine the extent of dental damage you suffer from, to recommend the type of power chains that will work best for your specific problems.

How long do you have to wear power chains?

Power chains are part of a larger treatment plan with traditional metal braces. The continuous band formed by the elastics applies extra pressure to the teeth, which helps the braces correct gaps, misalignment, and other imperfections. How long you will have to wear power braces depends on your orthodontic needs, as with any other dental treatment.

Power chain braces are often worn for six months or more, but treatment time varies with each case. Some people may wear power chains on braces for six months while others will complete their treatment in just six weeks.

Even if the orthodontic problems, such as gaps between teeth or malocclusions, for which you are using power chains, are resolved, your orthodontist may keep them on to stop the teeth from reverting, just like a retainer.

Power chain colors

Power chain colors for braces
Power chain colors for braces

You can choose the colors of power chains just like you choose normal ligatures, as they are available in a variety of colors. You can select the color you like more, or your orthodontist can finalize a color most fitting to your age and lifestyle.

Like normal ligatures, power chains can also get stained or change their colors due oral hygiene or the type of foods you eat. Power chains are changed at every dental visit, and you can get new ones if your old ones get stained or lose their original color.

You can try a different color every time or get a whole new set if you like. Silver or smoke-colored power chains are the most preferred color for stain resistance.

Are power chains on braces painful?

The simple answer is YES. After the specialist has fitted the braces, there will be some discomfort as new force is applied to the teeth.

You may feel sore for a few days after the wires running through the brackets are tightened and adjusted to move teeth into new positions.

A power chain can also be replaced or added to your braces during an adjustment.  The orthodontist replaces the individual ligatures in your brackets with the rings of the power chain.

The pain comes down to discomfort after a few days, and you will hardly notice them, but the pain may come back. During painful episodes, it is best to eat soft foods. The good news is that you will get used to the cycle, and after a few times it will feel less painful or annoying. Power chains on braces do not cause any more pain than any other type of orthodontic treatment.

The leading specialist in power chains, Dr. Gibbs will tell you how to manage that pain and get some relief from discomfort. Any pain or discomfort you are experiencing will be resolved with care and precautions.

Do you need to wear a power chain?

Power chains are a reliable solution for crooked or misaligned teeth or uneven spacing when no other treatment has worked.

Patients of any age can get power chains. However, children between 8 and 14 are the best candidates, as their jaws are still growing and can be corrected more easily. Adults sometimes need this treatment to realign twisted teeth or close gaps.

Whether or not you need power chains as a part of your orthodontic treatment plan depends on our unique dental needs as well as the specialist’s recommendations. The orthodontist will examine your mouth and treatment progress and determine if you need power chains with the braces.

How to take care of power chains?

Power chains are a significant part of the orthodontic procedure. You must take good care of the power chains on your braces to ensure the best outcome from your treatment. Follow the same oral hygiene habits as you would with traditional metal braces or other orthodontic options.

You will find more food gets trapped in the elastics, but it is not a serious matter. You just have to focus and spend a little more time brushing to ensure there is no decay or cavities.  Poor oral hygiene, even for a short time can increase the treatment time and potentially damage your teeth and gums.

Some essential steps that can help you care for your braces include:

  • Proper brushing and flossing to maintain oral hygiene and prevent plaque buildup and bacterial growth
  • Avoiding hard, sticky and sugary foods that can cause the brackets, wires, or ligatures to break
  • Getting your braces regularly checked to ensure no food particles are stuck between them as it can affect your orthodontic treatment
  • Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash to keep your teeth clean and strong

Read more: How to Floss With Braces

Power chains are used in a majority of orthodontic cases and are a routine part of treatment for patients suffering from extreme dental issues. They will close up any spaces you may have and align your crooked teeth so you can smile more confidently in no time. Make sure to follow all the care instructions given by your orthodontist for anticipated results.

Dr. Eric gibbs
Dr. Eric gibbs

Dr. Gibbs recommends power chains on braces as a standard end-of-treatment solution for closing gaps between the teeth and ensuring even spacing successfully.

Gibbs Orthodontics Associates offers orthodontic care for children, teens, and adults with state-of-the-art technology and orthodontic facilities. You can look forward to the highest level of personalized services and care for your specific orthodontic condition and enjoy the best and fastest possible results.

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