If you take a look at the young woman to the left, you’ll notice that she has blue colored rubber bands that attach the orthodontic wire to her braces. You may also notice that it is one long, continuous band. This is known as a power chain.
Most braces currently used require a rubber band, known as a ligature, to hold the orthodontic wire inside of the braces. To learn more about why these rubber bands are necessary, you can read an article I wrote a few months ago about why you have to have rubber bands on each tooth with braces.
Below is a close-up photo that illustrates the difference between the normal rubber bands (ligatures) and the power chain. This teenage girl has a power chain on the top teeth and regular ligatures on the bottom teeth. She also loves hot pink!
Now that you’ve seen the difference, what you’re probably wondering is why on earth the orthodontist would put that on your braces.
View 60 Photos of Teenagers with Braces to see more photos of teenagers wearing power chains on their braces.
Why Orthodontists Use Power Chains with Braces
Orthodontists use power chains on your braces for two reasons:
- To make sure that your teeth don’t move apart.
- To help close gaps between your teeth.
Power Chains are Used to Make Sure Your Teeth Don’t Move Apart
If your dentist needs to move your teeth, and he or she is worried that when they move, you’ll get a gap, then your orthodontist will use a power chain to make sure that you don’t get a gap in between your teeth. The power chain can snugly hold your teeth together.
Power Chains are Used to Close Gaps Between Your Teeth
If you have gaps between your teeth, power chains are a good way to help pull the teeth together and close the gaps.
Will Power Chains Hurt Your Teeth?
Power chains do cause some mild discomfort, just like braces do. They might be uncomfortable for the first few days, but your teeth will shortly adjust to them and then your pain should decrease.
What Colors of Power Chains Can You Get For Your Braces?
Power chains, just like ligatures, come in a variety of colors.
If you’re curious about what colors you can get on your braces, read my article about what colors of braces you can get.
At the orthodontic clinic at my dental school, I don’t think we have quite as many colors for the power chains as we do for the regular ligatures. However, your orthodontist might have a better selection. Just ask, and I’m sure they’d love to show you the variety of colors you can get!
Have you ever had a power chain on your braces? What did you think of it? Do you have any questions or comments about this article? Feel free to submit a comment using the form below.
Thanks for reading!