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“Power chain.” Even the name evokes a mental image of power tools and machinery. But, as it turns out, a power chain is just space-closing attachment for your braces. If you’ve ever wondered about the little elastic rings linked together on your braces, we’ll take a deep dive today.

A power chain is different from the separate elastics you might also associate with braces. In this post, your Tenleytown orthodontists will talk about these helpful additions to your braces treatment and answer questions like: What is a power chain? What does a power chain do? And when do you get a power chain on your braces?

What is a Power Chain?

Simply put, a power chain is a series of interconnected, stretchy elastic rings that your orthodontist like Bird Smiles’ Dr. Talley or Dr. Clark, might place onto your brackets if you need them (not every braces-wearer gets them). These small yet mighty tools are linked together and stretched across multiple brackets on your braces. They can be used for both kids and adult braces, and the two types of modern braces we offer at Bird Smiles Orthodontics: metal and clear ceramic braces. Plus, you might be happy to know that a power chain comes in a variety of colors — so you can show off your personal style with them!

The elastic that makes up a power chain is stronger than the elastic in a regular bracket elastic which is part of what makes it effective at moving your teeth, specifically at closing up space.

What Does a Power Chain Do?

So, what does a power chain do exactly? A braces power chain helps move teeth more efficiently than individual elastics by distributing pressure evenly across several teeth. The added pressure from a power chain on your braces helps make your orthodontic treatment more efficient. Its purpose is to close gaps as well as align crowded teeth by applying continuous yet gentle force to move your teeth into the desired positions. A power chain on your braces can also help rotated teeth and contribute to fixing an underbite or overbite.

When Do You Get a Power Chain?

Typically, your orthodontist will introduce a power chain at a specific stage of your braces treatment when it’s time to address certain spacing or alignment issues. Adding a braces power chain often happens after your initial alignment phase or near the end. A power chain is not applied in beginner wires so you’re typically in treatment for at least a few months before it’s placed.

A braces power chain can go on the top or bottom teeth and can be placed on just a few teeth. At the same time, other teeth might just have regular elastics on them.

How Long Do You Have a Power Chain For?

The amount of time you need with a power chain on your braces depends on your specific orthodontic needs but generally ranges from six weeks to six months. At Bird Smiles Orthodontics, patients typically wear power chains for several months. Throughout your time wearing a power chain on your braces, Dr. Talley and Dr. Clark will monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan accordingly, ensuring the power chain keeps on working effectively.

Does a Power Chain Hurt?

A common question our patients ask us is, “Does a power chain hurt?” Well, you might experience some discomfort or pressure when a power chain is first applied or adjusted. This sensation is similar to how you feel when you get your braces adjusted and usually subsides after a few days. We suggest things like over-the-counter pain relievers, and soft or cold foods to help alleviate any discomfort.

More Questions About Power Chains? Ask Your Tenleytown Orthodontist

At Bird Smiles Orthodontics, we’re big on making sure our patients are as informed and confident about their orthodontic treatment as possible. If you have a power chain on your braces and have questions about it, schedule an appointment at our Tenleytown office. We’ll answer your questions and ensure your power chain is working efficiently towards your smile goals.