Braces do an amazing job of fixing your teeth and bite, but sometimes, they need help closing big gaps. That’s where power chains come in. What are they? They move your teeth faster and keep your treatment on track.
Shoe Orthodontics uses power chains in a variety of colors so you can show off your style while moving your teeth. How do they work? Let’s take a look!
What Are Power Chains?
What are braces power chains? They are a series of elastic loops similar to those that go around braces brackets in traditional metal braces to hold the archwire in place. The difference is that power chain loops are connected into a chain that fits over a series of brackets.
There are three types of power chains for braces: Closed, short, and long power chains. The name actually refers to the space between the loops on the chain.
Loops touch each other on a closed power chain. The loops are connected by a short piece of elastic in a short chain and a longer piece in the long chain.
What Do Power Chains Do?
Power chains are made up of strong elastics that provide additional moving power in a specific area. They are used to close gaps between teeth, from smaller gaps to those left by a missing or extracted tooth.
Each type of power chain does a specific job. Closed power chains stretch over several teeth and attach to each one. They close several gaps in teeth at once.
The short power chain connects every other tooth. This closes a larger gap between teeth. The long power chain connects every third tooth and closes very large gaps, such as those formed by missing or extracted teeth.
They apply extra pressure to these teeth, encouraging them to move even faster than the rest of the teeth. This closes the gaps during your treatment instead of doing it before or after treatment with separate appliances.
Your braces can do so much to fix your smile. Consider power chains to be the assistant movers who help with the big furniture, then leave so the braces can finish doing the job.
When Do I Get Power Chains?
We usually apply power chains to braces toward the middle or end of treatment. During the first stage, we concentrate on realigning the teeth properly. Once that’s done, we’ll check for gaps and use power chains to eliminate them.
Does everyone get power chains during braces? Only some get them. You probably won’t get them if you don’t have large gaps between your teeth. Your braces will do the job on their own.
We will evaluate you throughout your treatment plan and decide whether you need power chains.
What Colors Can My Power Chains Be?
Like bracket elastics, there are several options for power chain colors. Sure, you can wear basic gray or beige, but why not give your smile a pop of color?
Pick your favorite color or maybe one of your school colors. You can even choose a color for an upcoming special event, like a wedding or a holiday. We’ll let you decide what color your power chains should be.
Do Power Chains Hurt?
Power chains apply extra pressure to close gaps, so they can cause some discomfort when we put them on your teeth. That discomfort may last a few days but should fade away as your mouth gets used to the new elastics.
It’s OK to take over-the-counter painkillers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as directed on the bottle. You likely will only need it for the first day or two, if at all.
You can also rinse your mouth with warm salt water to soothe your mouth. Be sure to spit out the salt water to avoid ingesting too much sodium. You can rinse your mouth several times a day as necessary.
We recommend sticking to soft foods the first few days after getting power chains. Mashed potatoes, protein smoothies, oatmeal, and well-cooked pasta will give your teeth and jaws a break.
Caring for a Braces Power Chain
Brushing and flossing are essential with braces to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Take extra care while brushing with braces power chains. Plaque can build up around and behind the added elastic. It’s vital to clean that plaque off, or it can demineralize your teeth. This leaves white spots on your teeth that will be visible after braces.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Be sure to get around the power chains and brackets well. We recommend using an electric toothbrush because its motion can reach around the elastics and brackets better than a manual toothbrush.
Be sure to floss as well! Flossing with braces can be tricky, but floss threaders make flossing easier. These thin pieces of plastic resemble needles with extra large eyes.
The dental floss threads through the eye, and then you slide the dental floss under or over the archwire and through your teeth. This pulls the dental floss through and allows you to floss around the archwire that connects your braces brackets. Good oral hygiene will help you during your treatment!
Power Chains for Braces in Hanover, PA
Power chains give a little extra push to move your teeth into place and close gaps. You may not need them for your braces, but Shoe Orthodontics has you covered if you do!
We aim to give you a straight, beautiful smile and a perfect bite that will last a lifetime. If you’re ready for orthodontic treatment in Hanover, PA, or Reisterstown, MD, request a free consultation with Shoe Orthodontics!