When you hear the word power chain, it is common to think of weightlifting, power saw, and motor boats. But, for dental procedures, power chains are a series of elastic rings linked together, usually to close gaps and spaces. This approach has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its versatility. Whether you are considering braces or already have them, power chains may be familiar to you. So, what are power chains for? Orthodontics use power chain to apply more pressure to your teeth. The purpose is to correct the position of your jaw and teeth by applying pressure. Power chains can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw disorders. So, if you are in the Richmond area, Look for Elara Orthodontics in Richmond Texas, or do an internet search on Orthodontics near me in Richmond Texas.

What are Power Chains for Braces

Power chains are a series of elastic rings linked together. It connects a wire to the brackets via a series of interconnected O-rings, as opposed to individual O-rings.
In some instances, power chains can be made of metal twists rather than elastic.
A power chain secures the metal wire in place on the braces. The wire runs through the brackets and connects to the back teeth. This wire is adjusted periodically to help move your teeth and jaw gradually.

While elastics typically fit over brackets individually, power chains link them together. These chains form a continuous band across your teeth. It is possible to use power chains on some teeth, and traditional ligatures on other teeth. By combining power chains and ligatures, orthodontists can address multiple treatment objectives

Power chains are highly effective because they apply more pressure and force than traditional brackets and ligatures. Traditionally, dental braces consist of brackets that attach to each tooth and wires that hold the brackets together. A ligature or O-ring secures the wire to each bracket.

What is the function of Power Braces?

Orthodontists prefer to use power chain braces at the end of treatment as a solution for moving teeth, large gaps, and crooked teeth. Power chains can increase the pressure applied by the brackets and archwires alone, thereby reducing the duration of the treatment. Power chains can correct a wide range of dental problems with precision including:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Misalignments
  • Malocclusions

Benefits of Power Chains

So what are power chains for? Power chains offer versatility, and they complement braces to address many orthodontic treatments like filling. Other benefits includes:

  • Closing the gaps: A power chain can be used to close gaps between teeth. Gaps can occur naturally or during orthodontic care. ,Maintain even spacing: Orthodontists can use power chains to space teeth evenly and prepare the teeth for other dental procedures such as crowns, fillings, and veneers.
  • Realigning crooked teeth: The power chain gently aligns crooked teeth with constant pressure. They can also cause teeth to rotate over time.
  • Bite correction: Power chains can fix your bite, or specifically how your bottom and top teeth line up when you close your mouth. Childhood habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can cause misalignment or malocclusion of the teeth. A power chain may connect some of your teeth, while individual ligatures may connect others. So, your orthodontist can treat different parts of your mouth differently.
  • Exert Force: Power chains can exert more force than individual ligatures. This means they are stronger and your orthodontist can exert more pressure on the area when needed.
  • Easy to apply: Attaching a power chain to your braces is relatively easy. First, your orthodontist will remove the individual bracket ligatures and replace them with power chain rings. Each ring is continuous; your orthodontist can stretch it to fit around each bracket. Applying rings individually to each bracket can be more timing-consuming than using a power chain. Also, power chains come on spools, making cutting the desired length for your braces easy.
  • Multiple Uses: The power chain can be used in a variety of ways, such as redistributing spaces, closing spaces, and de-rotating teeth. These movements are essential for moving your teeth to their final position.

How long does it take?

Power chain braces usually take about six weeks, however, the true length of time will depend on your treatment plan and your particular situation.

What are the Side Effects

Power chain braces have side effects and risks like other dental procedures. These include:

  • Tooth Decay and Gum disease: Braces, with or without power chains, make cleaning your teeth and gums more difficult. Plaque can build up on the teeth, allowing bacteria to reach your gums and causing tooth decay, infection, gum irritation, and inflammation.
  • Short tooth roots: The roots of your teeth anchor your teeth to the jawbone. When applying pressure to the teeth, root resorption, which the breakdown of mineralized tissue can occur, resulting in shorter roots. Fortunately, the root absorption stops once the braces are removed.
  • Lost correction: As with all braces, your teeth may shift once you remove the power chain braces. Your orthodontist may require you to wear a retainer for a short period after your braces are removed to maintain your teeth’ alignment.
  • Pain: As soon as you get your braces on, it is likely you will feel some pain and discomfort. However, it typically subsides within a week of having braces fitted or adjusted.
  • Regular adjustments: Power chains need to be adjusted as your teeth shift or move. Each patient’s treatment varies, but adjustments are often made every four to six weeks.

Do Power Chains Hurt?

Occasionally, your orthodontist will adjust your braces. In any adjustment, you will experience some discomfort when new forces are applied to your teeth. During your visits, you will have the wire that runs through your brackets tightened to exert more pressure on your teeth. This allows the teeth to move gradually in a new position.

A power chain may also be added or replaced during an adjustment. When this happens, your orthodontist replaces each bracket’s ligature with a power chain ring. After the orthodontist applies and adjusts them, you may be sore for a few days. Pain or discomfort is normal after braces are adjusted, including adding or replacing a power chain. This usually lasts only a few days.

Your orthodontist can advise you on how to deal with the pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing tenderness, it should resolve relatively quickly. However, you can help ease your pain with OTC (over-the-counter) pain medication like Tylenol (acetaminophen). Even though other over-the-counter pain relievers, such as naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), may seem like good choices, you should avoid these medications because they can slow down the movement of your teeth.

For the duration of your braces, you should follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist regarding medications, food consumption, and avoidance.

Who is an Ideal Candidate?

With power chains, you can be a candidate regardless of age, unlike other orthodontic treatments. Power chains have a wide range of applications. They can help treat crooked, misaligned teeth or uneven spacing when other treatments are not a viable option. This is the reason why so many people get braces when they are young(between 8 and 14 years old). In this age group, the facial bones are still expanding, making it easier for teeth to move around. But, does everyone get power chains?

Yes. In fact, studies show about 1 out of 5 individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment are over 21 years old. This means your teenager and you can both wear power chains and braces simultaneously. Whether they are necessary for you depends on the condition of your smile. Your orthodontist will determine whether they are necessarily based on the alignment of your teeth and jaw.

Types of Power Chains

With power chains and braces, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the condition of your smile, you may need a power chain in one of three varieties. Fortunately, there are several types available and multiple choices in a single option.
Each type differ in diameter between the centers of each loop, thus determining which brackets can be attached to them. These types include:

  • Short: The short type is attached to every other tooth. There is a short distance between each ring in the chain. Every other bracket is connected by a short power chain.
  • Long: The long type is attached to every third tooth. This power chain has even longer distances between its rings. There is a connection between every third bracket.
  • Closed: The close type can be attached to every tooth. There are no spaces between the power chain rings. Instead, the rings are linked directly to each other. This type of power chain connects all brackets.

Your treatment plan will determine what type of power chain you need. Your orthodontist may have to use different types of power chains during your treatment.

Power Chain Maintenance and Care

In summary, power chains are an essential part of orthodontic treatment. They usually last for six weeks, but the duration can vary. During this time, it is crucial to take good care of your mouth by following the same oral hygiene habits as you would with traditional metal braces.

Cleaning elastics, brackets, and power chain ligatures require more effort to clean your teeth than without appliances. Plaque and food become trapped, so regular cleaning is vital! Plaque can accumulate, allowing infection-causing bacteria to penetrate your gums. Without flossing and brushing, plaque will form and cause tooth decay and irritation.

A lack of proper dental care affects all aspects of your treatment, including the length of treatment, recovery, and potential damage to teeth and gums. Taking care of your power chain and braces is essential. The best way to achieve this is to avoid certain foods and practice good oral hygiene:

  • Food: Stay away from sticky or hard foods that can cause wires, brackets, or ligatures to snap, which will delay treatment and require additional visits. Some types of food can damage your braces and power chain. Avoid eating the following foods:
    • Sticky foods:. Sticky foods can pull on and become stuck on your braces and power chains.
    • Hard foods:. Hard foods, like apples or corn on the cob, can crack your braces and power chains.
    • High-sugar foods:. Sugar-rich foods can contribute to plaque formation.
  • Oral Care: Good oral care includes:

Brushing: Food accumulates around braces and power chains can result in tartar buildup. Always gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush after eating. Excessive brushing can damage braces, gums, and protective coating and it can also increase stress on your power chain.
Flossing: The chances of food getting stuck between your teeth are greater when you have braces or a power chain. Flossing your teeth with braces is easier with a floss threader, which helps you access hard-to-reach places between your teeth and appliances. Flossing with braces and a power chain can be awkward at first, but persevere. Besides cleaning between teeth, flossing removes food from your power chain and braces.
Rinsing: Take a moment to rinse your mouth after flossing and brushing thoroughly. This may help with the dislodging of stubborn food particles. Use water or a fluoride-containing cleaning solution to rinse.
Examine your mouth: After brushing your teeth, check your braces and power chain for breakage. Make sure there are no cracks or damaged areas.
Bite carefully: To protect your brackets, try to avoid biting into foods with your front teeth.

During your orthodontic process, it is most important to have good oral hygiene. If you keep up with your appointments, avoid hard and sticky foods, and keep a meticulous oral regimen, you will be well prepared for the day your braces come off, and your gorgeous smile is ready to shine!


Does a power chain need to be replaced?

A power chain’s forces diminish with time. Your orthodontist may occasionally have to replace your power chain as a result. A number of factors can contribute to this, including:

  • Power chain type
  • Materials used to make them
  • Movement, like chewing and shifting of the teeth
  • The environment of the mouth, such as temperature, moisture, and saliva contact

Your adjustment appointment is a good time to have your power chains replaced.

Are there Color Options for Power Chains?

Since braces and power chains are commonly worn by young, it is natural to have stylish color options. The colors available are identical to ligature color options. However, like typical ligatures, power chains can stain and change the hue. Colors such as silver or smoke are the best for stain resistance. Fortunately, you can get a new set or a different color if they stain.

As your orthodontist will tighten the wires at each appointment, you can change the color of your power chain at that time. In fact, you can change your color every visit. Your dentist can help you choose a color that fits your lifestyle, but ultimately it is up to you which color you want to wear. You have a variety of colors to suit your preferences and personality, but what is the color saying about you?

  • Black: Can convey power and strength or be associated with grief
  • Blue: A symbol of intelligence and calmness
  • Red: Passion or anger are the most common associations with this color. Red on blue may also serve as a reminder that power lies in working together.
  • Orange: The fruit of choice for those who are creative and energetic!
  • Purple: The color of wealth and royalty
  • White: Symbolizes purity and innocence.

Is a Broken Power Chain an Emergency?

No. Power chains are made of elastic, so they can break. However, they do not cause discomfort, but the breakage can delay treatment. You can sometimes repair a power chain with tweezers if it has fallen off a bracket but is still intact.

How much does Braces cost in Richmond Texas?

Typically, power chains are part of the total cost of braces. Orthodontists rarely use per-item pricing. As a result, pricing these items is difficult. Dental Advisory Service (NADS) estimates braces will cost between $3700-$7100 nationwide in 2020.

A local survey in Houston found that, in general, orthodontic patients spend between $4500 and $6500 for braces. However, braces prices can vary based on several factors, including the treatment duration, patient’s age, the complexity, and the type of braces.

Elara Orthodontist understands braces cost in Richmond Texas can sometimes be a hindrance. That is why their prices are competitive with average prices in Richmond, so call today to schedule an appointment. Elara Orthodontist offers flexible hours to accommodate your busy schedule.

Take away

Power chains consist of many rings connected by an elastic material. The purpose of these devices is to increase the force applied to certain areas of the mouth when you wear braces. In addition to closing gaps between teeth, they can also help align your jaw and teeth. As a power chain’s force decreases over time, orthodontists must replace them frequently. Does everyone get power chains? Children and adults can wear power chains if their orthodontist recommends them.

Taking OTC pain medications can ease the pain or discomfort caused by a new power chain. The importance of good oral hygiene when wearing braces with power chains cannot be overstated. It is always a good idea to floss, brush, and rinse after eating. Contact your orthodontist as soon as possible if you notice any damage to your power chain.

If you have an emergency or would like to learn about power chain braces contact
the professionals at Elara Orthodontics in Richmond Texas. You can also find them by doing a search of Orthodontics near me in Richmond Texas.