Power Chains for Braces - What They Do, Risks, and Types

A Guide to Power Chains in Braces: Types, Risks & Benefits

Are you facing teeth alignment problems or bite issues? 

Well, dental braces can help you overcome these problems and improve your smile.

In these cases, it is better to visit your dentist ASAP. 

If you find your child suffering from these challenges, then make sure to consult Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Arizona.

Dental braces are the orthodontic devices that straighten your teeth over time. There are various dental braces, ranging from traditional metal braces to Invisalign

However, these orthodontic devices may also need assistance to work better. We call them power chains on braces that straighten teeth faster than standard braces. 

Let’s learn more about these brace aids, their function, types, and more. 

What are Power Chains?

Power chains are elastic bands or rings that form a chain-like pattern. These are O-shaped elastic bands that are arranged to form a chain-like structure.

Power chains close the gaps between the teeth by exerting extra pressure/ force on the braces. These are the modern-day alternatives of ligatures used to tie the braces brackets. 

Depending on your requirements, the dentist may recommend using both ligature and power chains together. These are the additional braces components that dentists use to enhance the treatment efficiency. 

How Do Power Chain Braces Work?

These orthodontic aids help the wearer achieve their desired smile in a shorter period by facilitating the movement of teeth.

Here is how these work:

Pressure Exertion

These elastic rubbers exert gentle pressure on the brackets, moving them in the desired direction.  This force helps to move teeth and jaw in the right direction, leading to good treatment outcomes.

Gaps Closure

These chains close teeth gaps by connecting braces brackets, improving your smile. In short, the use of power braces enhances the efficiency of braces treatment.

Alignment Correction

Other than this, these elastic chains align your teeth, which are not in their original position. By correcting their twister or rotated position, these chains can straighten the teeth or jaws. 

What Does Power Chain on Braces Do?

Dentists recommend using power chains on braces to resolve the following dental issues:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth spacing issues
  • Teeth misalignments
  • Jaw misalignments
  • Rotating teeth
  • Malocclusions 
  • Dental midline problem 

Read: How To Reduce Gap Between Teeth Naturally At Home

What are the Different Types of Power Chains?

All these elastic chains aren’t the same. Depending on the individual’s requirement, your dentist may recommend a particular type of power chain.

There are THREE different types of these chains, including:

  • Closed – Closed chains are usually fixed at each bracket as there is no pace between the adjacent rings, and these rings are immediately connected in the closed chain type.
  • Short – The second type is a short chain with a short distance between the rings. This chain attaches to one after another bracket. 
  • Long – Another chain type is a long chain with more distance between adjacent rings. Dentists usually link the long power chain at every third bracket. 

The choice of the chain varies from person to person and their desired outcomes. Patients may need to wear more than one chain type during treatment. Each of these chains is also available in several different colors.

Normal Braces vs Power Chains Braces – 4 Key Differences Between Both

Your dentist may recommend braces with or without these rubber chains. Here are three differences between both:

1- Structure 

Dentists use wires and ligatures for teeth alignment in the case of regular braces. However, power chain braces use elastic bands attached to form chain-like structures to align teeth.

2- Use

Most dentists use regular braces to treat most orthodontic issues. However, these elastic chains are mainly used for targeted treatment. 

3- Treatment Duration

Regular braces may require more time to correct the same issues. However, the braces work faster with applied force through elastic chains. 

4- Visibility

Power chain braces are usually less visible than traditional braces, making them a desirable option.

What are the Risks of Wearing Power Chain Braces?

There are specific side effects of using these elastic orthodontic aids. These are:

  • Gum diseases – Wearing these elastic chains can hinder routine cleaning procedures such as brushing or flossing. This can lead to bacterial accumulation and can result in gum disease.
  • Tooth decay – Some patients who wear them more often can also experience tooth decay. 
  • Losing correction – In some cases, the corrective action of braces may go away, especially when you dont wear your retainers after treatment. 
  • Short tooth roots – These elastic chains can result in shorter tooth roots, leading to less stable teeth. 

What to Know Before Getting Braces with Elastic Chains?

Following are the best maintenance tips if you are getting these elastic chains with braces:

  • Make sure to brush properly and clear all the hidden areas.
  • Floss your teeth regularly. 
  • Rinse your mouth after every meal. 
  • Pick your foods wisely and avoid the crunchy and sticky foods.
  • Keep a check on your braces and visit your dentist regularly. 

Read: 10 Effective Tips For Cleaning Teeth With Braces


Is It Painful to Get Braces with Elastic Chains?

It can be slightly painful to get braces with the chains. However, as you get used to it, the pain goes away.

What is the Average Price of Power Chain Treatment?

The average cost of these elastic chain treatments ranges from $500-$1500, depending on various factors. These factors include:

  • Complexity of treatment
  • Treatment duration
  • Treatment facility

What is the Recommended Age for Getting Power Chain Braces?

There is no recommended age limit for getting these braces with elastic bands. Most dentists recommend this for patients aged between 8-14. However, these are also a good option for patients who are 20+. 

Does Everyone Who Gets Braces Get Power Chains?

Not everyone who gets dental braces needs these elastic orthodontic aids. These are only for patients who need to shorten the treatment span.

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