Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeOrthodontics & BracesPower Chains: Why Some Colored Braces are Connected

Power Chains: Why Some Colored Braces are Connected

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.

Powerchain that Connects All the TeethMost 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!

Colored Braces Single Tooth or All The Teeth

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:

  1. To make sure that your teeth don’t move apart.
  2. 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!



    • Thanks for your comment, Pamela. I hope it does help some parents figure out what their child’s orthodontist is doing in their mouth!

    • I had my powerchain put on my top 4 teeth. Because of some serious issues with my mouth, I had some baby teeth that never fell out and some that were also impacted. I opted to have my surgeon pull basically my canines back of what I did have come in, and have my ortho close my gaps in the front 4, so I can then have my surgeon place 4 implants. I will have implant supported bridges for all of the teeth that didn’t come out when they were supposed to, and also to replace the impacted. I also didn’t have wisdom teeth on the top, only one on the bottom and the other 3 were never there. I had a mess in my mouth that I was embarrassed of, and was afraid to get fixed. I finally decided to have all the work done. I have a full row of Damien braces on the bottom, as I didn’t have the same complications there as I did the top. I do have to say it’s been a week today with the powerchains and I still cannot bite down on anything even kind of soft. I am supposed to wear a partial plate for the top, while healing but it doesn’t fit (too big) and needs to be adjusted. I go back next week to do that. (I absolutely hate that part of this whole thing) Luckily sense I have a tiny mouth and big lips naturally it’s not as noticeable as it was with out the braces. My treatment plan is estimated for 8-12 months depending on the bottom. The top because he is only moving 4 teeth together I was told would be way shorter. My gaps two on the sides are closed already and now it looks like the one in the middle has slowly started to close. I CANNOT WAIT TO GET THE TOP OFF AND MY IMPLANTS PLACED WITH MY BRIDGES A FEW MONTHS LATER! Also I had bone grafting done everywhere that the impacted teeth were pulled. I’m so nervous and scared about the amount of money this is all going to cost me in the end!!!! I wish dental wasn’t so expensive so others that have issues like I did can afford to have their teeth fixed too. BTW, I’m 32. I wish I would of done this sooner or started the process sooner.

  1. I just got on a power chain yesterday. The orthodontist informed me I would have some discomfort the first day or so, and boy was she right on! My teeth feel as though I just got braces on again for the very first time:/ But they do serve a purpose, and in the end Im sure it will be well worth the pain:)

    • I remember the pain from braces very well. One of my lower canine teeth was pointing right into my tongue and now amazingly they are all nice and straight. Good luck with the rest of your time in braces – I hope it goes well!

    • I just got power chains yesterday and my orthodontist said I would only hurt a small amount. And today I feel my teeth feel my they are falling off!!! Today it hurts so bad it’s not even tolerable anymore! I can’t eat but about 3 things for breakfast,lunch and dinner! I hope the pain decrease or even better stop hurting.

    • got my second lot of power chains on my teeth yesterday ( lower ones on top ones removed) and flip the pain is sore 🙁 thankfully braces completely off in 8 weeks from today!

  2. I just got my power chain on yesterday and boy oh boy am i in PAIN!!!!! I have damon braces so its funny to see the band in my mouth seeins as i never have a need for them with the type of braces that i have…..i was shocked at the ammount of pressue i felt getting them on….i think this hurts worse than when i first initally got my braces on!!!! hopefully it feels better tomorrow 🙁

    • Hi Tearel – Thank you for your comment! Once your teeth have shifted, they should stop hurting so much. I remember the dull pain from braces far too clearly!

      I hope your teeth feel better soon. Hang in there – your straight teeth will be worth it!

  3. hi,. i just want to ask why i dont have that chain on my braces? you said the chain helps the teeth gap to close., im just wondering why i dont use a chain,. i have so many gaps,. i only use ligatures,. do you think in the coming months i’ll be using that too? thanks! 🙂

    • hi Jesa – Your orthodontist may incorporate a power chain into your treatment in the future. There are other ways to close gaps and your orthodontist has most likely chosen the way that will work best for your particular mouth.

      Sorry I couldn’t give you a very clear answer, but I hope that helps! Thank you for your comment!

      • Hi I wanted to understand something about the ligatures?? Okay so I have a gap across the first four teeth(top only) I recently (today) got my chain off the bottom and my ortho put single ligatures on. But since I have had my braces I was only able to stay in silve (my first choice so the braces wouldnt be too noticeable), but now that I have single ligatures on the bottom and on the top (aside from the first four teeth) can I change my color???

  4. Interesting! I just got my powerchain on yesterday! I’m really excited to get my gaps closed. More than any weight issues or acne, etc, my teeth were (and still are, even with braces) my absolute biggest insecurity. I wouldn’t even smile with teeth in pictures for the last 20 years of my life until now, with some improvement as i’m half way done 😀

    However, my roommate said that when she had braces, at one point her front teeth ended up with a gap, and then her ortho of course did something to reverse that (she also argues that she had a really bad ortho, though). She says if she remembers correctly, it was while she began the power chain treatment.

    Does this happen? Is this likely? I haven’t found anything on the internet :/

    I see it happen on this video but I don’t think I saw power chains.

    • Hi Stephanie – During the ortho treatment, gaps regularly open and close as the teeth are moved into their proper position. In the video you linked to, you can see lots of little gaps opening up between different teeth.

      Power chains are just one tool that orthodontists can use to help close gaps. Using the proper forces on the orthodontic wire can also close gaps which is what appears to have been done in that video.

      I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, let me know. Thanks for your comment, Stephanie!

  5. Hey everyone! Currently, I am 1 year and 5 months into wearing my braces, and just yesterday, I got molar-to-molar power chains put on both my bottom and top rows of my teeth. I admit that they are quite painful, but taking an advil will work great!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Victoria – I’m glad the Advil is working for you. Hopefully your teeth will be ready to get the braces off soon!

      • My molars are dying, I got my power chain yesterday and it makes my molars hurt so bad. Pain relievers aren’t working, so how can I stop them from hurting and when will they stop hurting

  6. I used to not have a gap in my front teeth, but now that ive had braces for awhile it formed? I just got a powerchain today and i can feel the pain already… do you think it’ll end up closing with the powerchain? I’ve heard that it may not end up closing all the way. I really don’t want to have that gap. What are some home remedies to help the pain from the pressure on the teeth? Thanks for having this useful website!

    • Hi Mariah – During braces treatment gaps usually come and go as your orthodontist tries to get all of the teeth aligned perfectly. I’m almost certain that your gap will end up closing by the time you’re all finished. I know it’s hard, but try to trust your orthodontist, I’m sure that (s)he knows what they’re doing and will give you the best possible smile.

      As for the pain, Ibuprofen is usually pretty good for reducing pain and inflammation. I remember seeing some various webpages on the internet that have dental home remedies. You can search for those, but none really come to mind.

      Thanks for your comment – Good luck with your braces, Mariah!

  7. next tuesday i am getting braces and a chain all at the same time… is the chain that i am getting a power chain or some different type of chain? im really confused! 😀 ~brielle

    • Hi Brielle – That sounds right – the rubber chains used to hold the wire in the brackets (power chains) are the only chains that I know of that are commonly used in orthodontics.

      Good luck with your braces treatment – Thanks for your comment!

  8. I had some power chains on my braces, just on the back teeth, and only near the end of treatment, I think. They made my teeth feel tight and sore, but I didn’t mind. My ortho’s technique and methodology was much better than my siblings’ dentists. Their teeth all pointed very far inward for a long time and looked severely abnormal. They also had top-bottom rubber bands which sometimes flew out of their mouth, I never had them. They also came home from each appointment with multiple sticks of wa, as big as table candle sticks, and desperately used all of it to prevent pain. I got a tiny matchbook sized case of wax when I got my braces on and only used a very very tiny amount the entire time I had my braces. Also, their brackets were thick/bulky and alway made their mouths stick out like they were sucking on an orange slice. Mine were thinner. Even my best friends would tell me they’d always forget I have braces because you couldn’t tell unless I smiled really wide.

    • Hi Sarah – Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like you had a great orthodontist – if they all could be that good, there would be a lot happier smiles in the world.

    • I’ve had my braces on for a little over a year now and I just recently joined the national guard. I have to leave for basic training for two months and I can not have braces on while I’m in basic. I used to not have a gap in between my two front teeth, but I ended up with one due to my braces. I was suppose to have my braces removed yesterday, but the dental asst. urged me to talk to the orthodontist first to see if there was any way to close the gap before I leave for basic which is in exactly two weeks. So they put a power chain on my top teeth. The orthodontist said he didn’t know if it would close my gap in time. My gap closed within a few hours, but I was wondering if you thought it would give me permeant results or if the gap would return after they remove my braces off.

  9. I’m an adult and have had my braces on 1 month and half now. I just got my power chains and bands on today. My Ortho said there to help correct the gaps in between my teeth. Normally how long does it take for the gaps to close up? My Ortho said I would probably have to wear my braces for 13 to 14 mths.

    • Hi Leslie – During the course of your braces treatment, the gaps may close and then open up slightly as your orthodontist positions your teeth into their ideal placement.

      The only solid answer that I can give you is that when you’re all done with your treatment, the gaps should be closed. Your orthodontist may close the gaps now, only to find that she/he needs to move a few more teeth around, which could create another gap that would need to close.

      Take a look at this video on Youtube to see what I mean. It really starts around 1:05. Notice how the upper teeth open and close as the treatment progresses and eventually end up with no gaps.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Hi, you had lots of information on here! Very well done. So about power chains, what colors are the best for power chains? I need to go tomorrow after school. What colors would look best for this kind of look-light brown hair, dark brown eyes, light skin, and I always wear purple but I don’t want a purple power chain. Thank you!

    • Hi Haley – Sounds like you’re probably at your appointment right now! So I tried to picture you in my head, and it seems like purple and green would be two colors that might go together if you’re getting power chains on the top and bottom. I haven’t looked into which colors seem to work best.

      A post on picking braces colors is definitely in the works. I hope that helps – let me know if you have any other questions, and don’t forget to let us know what colors you ended up going with and how you like them!

  11. I just got my power chain on this morning, oh boy it really hurts soo bad ><) and they hurt less than the bottom? I can feel an improvement down the bottom though, they feel straight already! XD

    • Hi Jess – Thanks for sharing! I’m sure by now the pain has gone down a lot. The powerchain may not close the gap between the top teeth right away, and your orthodontist may use other techniques to help close that gap depending on how big it is.

      Good luck with the rest of your braces treatment!

  12. I’ve had braces for about 3 years and 4 months. Right after I first
    got them I had 4 teeth removed , two on top two on bottom…after all
    this time I still have these gaps and I’m supposed to get my braces
    off in 6 or 8 months…last week I went to my denstist and they told
    me to start putting ” princess” bands which I have to wear two on each
    side and they cross each other….my question was …
    are my teeth supposed to be closing with those bands already since I still have
    those gaps where there removed my teeth? Or is the space supposed to close with a powerchain?

    • Hi Cindy – There are a variety of ways to close the space left behind when your teeth were taken out. I’m not sure of the exact braces treatment plan that you are following, but it would be a good idea to ask your dentist how they plan on closing the gaps, and to get some assurance that they will be closed in the next 6-8 months when you get your braces off.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your comment, Cindy.

  13. Hi sir! , i have here some question for you. Last month in the 21st of may it is the day schedule for my braces. then, after a month i’ve a suggest to my orthrodontist. Because i really want the powerchain instead of normal band braces. anyway sir before my braces puts in, he had take me first an operation last may 7,2011 he scheduled me an Z-plasty i think? or teeth repositioning co`z my teeth case. Therefore back to the POWERCHAIN isn’t good for my case? Hoping for your possible responce as well thankyou!

    • Hi Ralph – Your orthodontist probably knows what is best for your teeth. If you really think you need the powerchain, ask your orthodontist about it and see why (s)he doesn’t think it’s a good idea. I wish I could provide more useful information, but every braces case is different, and your treatment plan is custom-made for you.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, Ralph. Thanks for your comment!

      • I see. Well thank you sir for a great informational idea regarding with this case, later on i’ll be going to my orthodontist to ask about the power chains and yet i want to introduce myself first I’m Ralph Demiel Balanon a 16y/o boy presently living on the Philippines.

  14. I just got my powerchain earlier today and boy do they hurt! Are powerchains only. Effective with small gaps or even big ones? I have a couple bigger ones and I’m concerned they won’t close correctly. It’s my 9th month with braces on 🙂

    • Hi Mirian – Powerchains are just one way to close gaps in teeth. They may not close the big gaps all of the way, but by then your orthodontist may have something else planned to get the gaps to finish closing.

      Good luck with your braces! I hope everything works out well.

      I hope that helps – Thanks for your comment! Let me know if you have any other questions, Mirian.

  15. Hi, I just had my first visit today for my braces. Initially I thought I was just going to have my bands changed. The doctor decided to put elastic power chains connecting from my second pre molar to my third molar. The assistant said it was to close my gap and to give room for my two front teeth to move back. But my question is, if that was the case why didn’t he do that to begin with? I don’t understand, it totally makes me feel like nothing was done in the beginning and instead just made my two front teeth stick out more.

    • Hi Fe – I’m guessing that the orthodontist needed to see how your teeth would react to braces and was maybe hoping that the braces would help close the gaps. When that didn’t work, he decided to go with the power chain.

      I hope that helps – Thanks for your comment, Fe. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  16. I just got a powerchain on my top teeth. It hurts a lot but it’s to close the gap in my teeth that has formed due to them straightening out!

  17. My daughter’s dentist who did orthodonic work on my daughter’s teeth also sent her to an oral surgeon to do invasive work on the roof of her mouth-the purpose was to grab her canine teeth that had never came through and to bring them down. However, for some reason the surgeon only placed one chain inside the roof of her mouth and said he could not get a hold of the canine on the other side. He said that I should further discuss options with her dentist.
    With the unprofessionalism of this dentist who refused to discuss any options with me, I could not understand what his purpose or goal was along with why he thought it was ok to leave that chain inside my daughter’s mouth, (still today) and also for some reason he never brought those canine teeth down.

    My question is; how extreme of wrongdoing was his decision to just leave that chain inside the roof of her mouth??? I got a second opinion of a possible infection arising in the future. But what I really need to know is how liable is this dentist for the following:

    Not informing me of what my options were at the time as a parent for my daughter who was 14 at the time/ and or communicating and making me aware of all the decisions he made for the best interest of my daughter. I believe that somewhere in there he violated some acts of “The American Dental Acts” please correct me if I am wrong??

    What was his responsibility in the completion of getting those canine teeth down, when I got a second opinion from an orthodontist who looked at my daughter’s teeth and said, “he couldn’t understand why he did not succeed at bringing those teeth down”. Is that considered “Abandonment”?
    In my view if there were no spaces for those teeth to come down and if for some reason he could not make enough space, why didn’t he pull whatever teeth he felt would be the best choice to make that room, he never pulled any teeth, or informed me if getting those canine teeth down required it, or why he didn’t pull any teeth at all.

    When I did try to get some answers of what his plan was, he told me to sit down and be quiet. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and got a bad feeling and later to find out, his license was suspended and on indefinite probation.

    Please tell me what my rights are within this matter, seeing he used up all the insurance money for my daughter’s teeth and also that she needs further work done to correct his mistakes. Along with giving her the incorrect/or best retainer to get rid of the space between her teeth which has never gone away.

    I’d like to know how and why he is still in practice and why wasn’t I made aware before work was done on my daughter’s dental procedures, the numerous complaints about him from other clients and his background. Where is the law that protects innocent people that seek outside professoinal people such as this particular dentist.

    My exhusband covers the children for thier dental and medical care and chose this particular office for convenience. I thought that he was reccommended, but he never was, which was a concern for me, but I am not the insurance provider. With your professional advice, I’m hoping you can answer all of my questions that are of great concern to me.


    • Hi Diana – Here’s some thoughts:

      – Informing patients of all their treatment options is the ethical thing to do as a dentist. The ADA code of ethics states, “The dentist should inform the patient of the proposed treatment, and any reasonable alternatives, in a manner that allows the patient to become involved in treatment decisions.”

      – You might want to figure out exactly how much it will cost to fix the problems that he caused your daughter and then see if he would be willing to pay for the treatment.

      Here’s the ADA code of ethics if you’d like to look over it.

      I hope that helps – Thanks for your comment, Diana. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Thank you for this information, I had my braces for about three months nd since my top teeth are close to almost straight, I started noticing two gaps on each side, I began freaking out, a week later at my appointment they put in PowerChains at first I had no clue what they were for (my dentist didnt explain or anything) until hours later I felt a lot of pressure nd my gums hurt so bad. Its been a week since I got the power chains and already saw the two gaps close! So fast! I was happy but now my gums are a bit inflamed still:( and barley stopped huting a couple days ago

  18. Power chains for me did not cause mild discomfort…. It caused extreme pain, and I can deal with pain normally. I got my chains on my uppers 3 days ago and still am in pretty excrutiating pain. All my teeth are literally loose again and it feels a little worse than when I got my braces applied. My orthodontist came close to-removing the chains due to the pain, but I told them no. I just keep taking Advil and trying to push through. On a good note: my gaps have already closed.

    • Hi Jeannie – I’m glad the power chains are getting your gaps closed. Hopefully the pain is subsiding at this point. Hang in there!

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  19. Hi Tom

    I am having the six month braces and have power chains on top and bottom, even though the gaps are only at the top. I don’t understand this as the bottom ones are still quite crowded and I should be nearly at the end of my treatment – surely this is going to make them even more crooked?! the gaps on top closed within a week (big gaps too!) but then she took them off for a while as two other teeth got very bunched together. Needless to say the gaps immediately reopened – now she has put chains on both top and bottom, the gaps are closing, but my other teeth and gums are bunching again, and it’s agony!
    I would love to say I trust my ortho, but she’s a regular dentist, just like all the other 6 month brace people. I did speak to several people who were very happy with their results from her though.

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated,



    • Hi Becky – I don’t have enough experience in this area to know what’s going on in your case, but many times the desired result with braces comes after lots of movement. It sounds like your dentist has done a good job in the past, and it would be a good idea to bring up your questions next time you see her regarding your specific case.

      I wish I could be of more help! Thanks for your comment, Becky.

  20. I got my braces yesterday and i got the power chain on the bottom and the 2 top teeth. I was wondering
    when the space in the 2 top teeth would start to close.

  21. I just got my power chain on three hourth ago…and it hurth quite a bit, ath if I had just gotten my bratheth on. Pluth, a plathtic thing wath taken out of my mouth, thuth cauthing thith odd way of talking. 🙂

    • Hey, i got my power chains yesterday, and they hurt like crazy!!!!!! Is there anything to make it unsore other than advil, i take childrens advil, cuz im 11, and it still hurts!!!!!!! They said “slight dicomfort” but this hurts really, really bad, i tried ice, but it didnt do anything, is there any way of making it less sore so i can eat food?

      • hey, what u can try if u havent already is, if it helps, try rubbing your gums gently. sometimes my gums get a little sore because my top and bottom molars are pushed inwards, and when they do hurt, i rub them gently…it usually works for me! try it and reply to let me know if it helped at all id be happy to know if im not the only one that works on, by the way, i dont have power chains but i know i am getting braces mostly for my molars so i dont really know how the pain is with power chains but so far as ive read. people r saying they really hurt so go ahead and try this, and reply to me if it works! hope this is good advice and good luck with ur braces and power chains!

      • Hi I’m 11 too. Taking childrens advil might not be the best I suggest taking regular advil for ur pain and u need to try to eat a little because it builds strength try using oral gel it helps for me!!! Good luck it’s worth it in the end. Hope it helps

  22. Update: took about a 2 weeks for pain to subside from chains…. But wow to the difference they can make!!! Any chance you could tell me what type if chain they have in the picture (red one)??? I only ask because my chain is a lil different. It appears in the pic that persons chain holes hug her brackets more than mine and in between brackets it seems like a longer gap between holes on the chain… Mine are opposite.

    Best example I can give….
    0–0–0–0 theirs
    O-O-O-O mine

    The holes/space that fits over my bracket on the chain actually stretches to halfway between the next bracket over… And the area that connects the next part if chain on mine is very short, where in the picture theirs is longer. Just curious about the different types of chains.

    Happy Bracing everyone!!!

  23. Great website!

    Next month I am hopefully getting my braces off; it’s been 22 months. At my last appointment, which was three days ago, the orthodontist used a power chain for the first time in my entire treatment to keep my teeth together on top and bottom. I was surprised such a thing existed. Three days later, my teeth are still sensitive, which is unusual for me since during my entire treatment, my teeth were never sensitive for more than a couple of hours. Since I also have to use the triangle bands, my teeth are extra sensitive. It’s not painful, but it’s similar to the discomfort I had when the braces were first put on. My teeth are finally aligned, and hopefully next month the braces will come off.

  24. Ok hi again. I go to the ortho in January for the first visit can u tell me wat it’s all about and how long it will take to actually get the brace ( day of visit ) and what you do wen ur getting braces I’m a little nervous and over excited so I’m asking these questions thank you for ur time

    • Congrats!!! Being nervous and excited is normal.
      I have been blogging about my dental experience with braces… So maybe that will help you understand what kinda goes on with each visit…. Note: all treatment plans are different, but you can read about my experience and maybe get an idea if what to expect.

      Best of luck to you!!!!

    • Hi Kelsey – No need to be nervous, I’m sure it will work out. Your orthodontist will be able to let you know when your treatment will start and how long it will take. Everyone’s case is a little bit different, so I can’t give you any specifics.

      It doesn’t take long to get the braces on, they will glue the brackets to your teeth and put a wire in. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your comment, Kelsey.

  25. Hi,

    My 1st visit to the ortho is in November & im really scared cuz they might take my tooth out or put an injection in my teeth! My teeth are really crooked so do you think they might take my teeth out??? Im very nervous and exited at the same time!!1


  26. Hi! I just got my power chains today, and I must say they are a bit painful. Anyways I was wondering if it would be a little bit harder to clean your teeth with power chains, if so can you give me tips on how to keep them cleaner with the power chains? I’m constantly checking on mirror making sure I don’t have food stuck in between.

  27. Just got powerchains. They literally hurt so bad I woke up at 2 am because of the pain. Mild discomfort is the understatement of the century.

  28. Hello- I’m scheduled to get braces in less than two weeks and I am overly excited but also scared. One of the most nerve wracking parts is that my dentist is going to do it, not an orthodontist. I have a a few gaps and my right upper teeth are not exactly mirrors of the left. I am only getting braces on the top- to my disappointment. I am really curious if anyone has ever had a dentist do their braces and I want to know if I get a power chain or if I get to pick my ligature colors? I know two kids who didn’t get to pick because they had self-ligating braces.


  29. dear power chains I want you off my teath rite this instant ,I feel like my mouth is gona explode, and trhere is a giant bruse on everysingle tooth in my mouth, I can’t even eat. I am gona die of missery, I got them the week of midterms and it looks lie if I showed up for school tomarrow to take them I would fail and cry and scream at everyone that I see incluing my principl. I can’t even eat mashed potatos, or a bannana or scrammbled eggs so I have to dtarve also.
    obgoodness I hope myteath r strait when they are finaly removed in four wweks.,but like my mom always said wile brushing my tangled hsir as she yanked it “buety is pain” well mom I haavre to diagreee!!!!!!!!!:-\ I’m gona go put some oragel on my gums now, good luck tpo all victems of the power chain!!!

  30. Got powerchains (1 year and 5 mos in braces ) last Saturday and until now my mouth hurts really bad!   
    I agree it hurts even more when I had braces the first time. Ugh. These are making me irritable. I hope the pain goes away soon. I’m gonna go and grab some ice cream 

  31. I got power chains today but the top hurt’s worse then the bottom, i got a sky blue color. I also have to get teeth extracted two on the top and two on the bottom. The one’s on the bottom never came in so I have to be put asleep to get those out, I am scared it will be really painful.

  32. are powerchains the same as the elastic bands they put on each bracket individually because i am getting braces, what does the powerchain do that is different from the elastic bands? can you just ask your orthodontist if you can have the powerchain instead? is it an option?

    • Powerchains are somewhat similar. Rubber bands on individual brackets are simply just holdingthe wire in place. Ur ortho will tell you if u need a powerchain. The powerchain is to close unnessisary gaps in between the teeth. If you have anymore q’s ask ur ortho because he knows ur teeth way better than me. I’ll be making YouTube videos real soon about braces. My user name is klovergotit2! Hope this helped.GOOD LUCK WITH BRACES!

      • thanks alot kelsey! that did help…ill be sure to check out the videos too! thanks for the advice, i dont know exactly how long ill have my braces but one things for sure, wierdly…i cant wait to get them!!! its wierd because how often do u really hear a 14 year old saying they want braces right? anyways thanks ill be sure to watch the videos about the braces!

  33. hi im getting braces and i was wondering how much dose it hurt the 2ed day and i have to have rubber bands do thouse hurt to

  34. I just got a power chain for all of my top teeth today and it hurts only a bit, but it really sucks that my teeth are so sensitive right now that I can’t even bite into a soft piece of bread without feeling pain.

  35. I got a power chain yesterday. They hurt really bad, and I can’t even eat the soft potatoes I could when I first got braces (6 weeks ago). The color that I have is a light purple, and they look more mature while in a not so “bold” color. They start off really tiny. The pain may be because I have self-ligating braces, unlike the traditional ones with ties. My brackets close by creating a clasp over the arch wire. I’m not quite sure if this is why they hurt. But all I know is they aren’t fun.

  36. Hey tom, im 24 and i currently have braces. I got them put on in august of last year. My teeth are fairly small but i had gaps between most of them. I Have the power chain on both top and bottom. But the top i have a issue. Where my two front teeth meet theres extra gums bunched up. And behind my teeth its a very noticeble. Its really painful. The orthodist office i go to isnt any help at all because all i see is the assistants. I never see him or get to ask questions. It would be nice if you can let me know what i should do. Its very uncomfortable 🙁

  37. I had my power chains for two months and I got them taken off on Tuesday but today I realized that the space between my teeth has come back, is that supposed to happen or should I be worried and contact my orthodontist?

  38. I had powerchains and still have them now for the first time they were put on the pain really became intense and sore, but after a while you get used to them 🙂

  39. Hi Tom,

    It’s great to see you responding to so many comments. You seem like you’ll be a very successful dentist once you have finished school!

    A quick questions about power chains… are they typically used as place holders as well? They placed them on my front six teeth where the gaps on the right said have closed; however, the ones on the left have not. My biggest gap is still there. They placed braces on my bottom teeth about a month ago to begin the proper alignment process. My hunch is that the gap that I still have won’t be closed until my bottom teeth are in its correct alignment so my bottom and top teeth don’t hit one another– am I correct to some degree in my assumption?


  40. I don’t think you could’ve explained it any better I have braces and I recently got the power chain and it’s closing my gap alot faster. The pain when they are first put on feels normal from when I first got my braces on. The front teeth just feels a little numb.

  41. Im 14 and have had my braces for about 2 months. Before i got braces i had to get four teeth pulled two On top and two on botttom. My orthodonist put two powerchains on the two gaps on the top but not the bottom. Why is this?

  42. i have braces right now and i absolutly hate them so for those want braces better be lucky they dont have it’s irritating and u cant have most of the sweets u want to have like gum,popcorn,chips……….:(

  43. hi tom!
    just got braCEs and i got mini brackets and also ligature!!
    i have combined pink and blue!
    the ortho said that it will take a month before i could get the lower teeth braces
    bcos she is scared that it will hurt bad for me!!
    but today i got my seperator for the lower molar bands
    and the wax the ortho gave me so that the wire wont make a mouthsore
    does not stick to the wire she gave me dencytol + instead..
    are there any other gargle liquids so that there’ll be no mouthsore?
    hope youre well

    me again,, hermione

    • If your mouth is sore, try rinsing it with 8oz of warm water & a tbs of salt. That helped for me when I first got my braces on; I also would take some aspirin to help with some of the pain with my teeth moving & used some wax on the back of my teeth because my molar bands were irritating my cheeks. Try that & see if it helps. Before putting the wax on take a q-tip & dry the area you are going to put the wax onto & then roll the wax first to make it soft & then place it onto the area you want it to go to.

  44. Hi Tom, I am 16 and have had my braces for 3 years now. I am on my finishing wire for my bottom braces with a powerchain that I yesterday at 4:00pm/5:00pm and still just got elastic bands they put on each bracket individually and have ligatures (ALL DAY) except for to brush my teeth and eat for 24hr a day. I need HELP I am in so much pain I had to get up and look it up to see what to do and I found this thank you for this. I can’t sleep with out taking something. 🙁

  45. Hi guys. I just had my powerchainS attached today. 1 on the top and another one on the bottom. Ohmygosh! They’re killing me, esp the lower ones. I think its because my lower teeth are the one that should be moved since i have a couple of gaps there. Am i right?
    I really hope this pain would go away… Will do u think this would totally go?

  46. OMG!!!!! i got my powerchain yesterday. Before I got home I felt like someone had beat me in my head. Ibuprofen 800 is my friend but it’s only taken the edge off. Any other recommendations on pain relievers. I’m using the bite wing as well which of course we all know isnt helping. I was in so much pain lastnight I couldn’t sleep. Today the pressure isn’t in my head it’s all in my mouth. I haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday and it’s almost lunch time again. I guess a whole day with no food is normal? My ortho said the first few days were going to be rough. Well he was COMPLETELY 100% RIGHT. My question is he also told me that getting braces at my age (31 not like i’m old or something) has a big difference in pain. He said children tolerate the pain better when they get braces. My 15 year old daughter did very well she just got her’s off in August but now my 9 year old and my 10 year old need them. Should I fork the money for them as well now reminding you I have only had mine on for 3 1/2 months and my ortho says I will have mine on until June 2014. That would be a total of 16,000.00 in braces for 4 people in the matter of of 3 years, They want to do the boys at the same time. What do you think? My insurance only covers $1500.00 per person for orthodontal care so the rest has to come out of our paychecks.

  47. Hi when you go to the orthodontics if you ask for power chains will they say you can have them even if you dont have a gap but they probably still could prevent it but anyways if you could answer the question that would be great.

  48. Hi igot my braces put on a month ago n i barely see any difference my lateral right tooth is a tad bit behing the rest of the teeth and my ortho has put powerchains on either side to pull teeth away a little bit so it gives it the space it needs . i seen a little bit of movement but now my front teethhave started to overlap a bit and im worried because they used to be perfectly straight n now it looks super werid n crooked and UGLY.! i wonder when i will see real changes . i still feel like there isnt enough space witout my other teeth overlapping and that worries me im supposed to only have them on for 6 months but its been a month n i see nothing changed at all except for my other teeth getting even worse going from staright to overlapped trying to make space for the other one when it still hasnt come foward because there is like a 1cm that wont let it…. sighh. i hope my ortho knows wats going on and its done on time . because right now it looks like a mess.! 🙁

  49. Hi i will be getting my braces soon and had just extracted four teeth.Is it very painful to have powerchain on after extraction?

  50. Hi, I’ve had braces for 5 months now, to fix some gaps that ruined my self esteem, and I’ve had powerchains that brought the 4 front teeth together so those gaps are closed, but next to those 4 teeth on either side are gaps, obviously from the teeth moving away to get closer together in the middle, but today at my appointment they didn’t put the power chain on and I’m worried my teeth will just shift back to how they were. Will they?!

  51. I have my braces for 5 months due to my crowded teeth. My dentist told me that my teeth must be push forward after 6 months, which i don’t think is possible to happen. Currently, my dentist put on a power chain on my brace, which based on my research is being used to eliminate spaces. He even told me that the purpose of this is to make my bite upward in order to push my teeth forward easily. However, based on my observation, this power chain only make the spaces of my teeth tight and make it difficult to move. Is there something wrong with my dentist strategy in my crowded teeth? What should i do, please help.

    • In order to move your teeth forward, a lot of movement needs to occur. Your ortho may be conditioning your uppers for this by first moving them in together to prepare the gum bed.

      If you moved them forward first, there would be tremendous gaps and the pain would be nuts.

      You will get some discomfort from the powerchain, but if both maneuvers were run concurrent, the pain would be excruciating.

  52. I am getting a power chain in December. I am wondering what color is best. I heard some colors will make your teeth look yellowish, like they haven’t been brushed. Also, I have a crowded mouth so one of my teeth are up high above all the others. Will they put a bracket on this tooth and pull it down? Or when my teeth are pulled will it have room to go down on its own?

    • Hi Holli,

      The chain will close lateral (or sideways) gaps. The archwire brackets will assist in rotating, raising, and lowering the teeth independently.

      How is that tooth looking these days?

  53. I’ve had braces for a year, and I’ve recently had a gap between my two front teeth. My ortho put a chain on the teeth in the front. Not 2 hours after I had NO gap!!

  54. Hey, I was wondering what the difference between an “open” power chain and a “closed” power chain. I am set to get my braces off in 3 weeks but I still have very small gaps on the top in two difference spaces. I orthodontist put an “open” power chain on. Will this close those small gaps or just hold the teeth in their current space?

  55. Hi, it is only the 3rd month and they put a powerchain to my bottom row. My two bottom front teeth are inward. The power chain is suppose to pull them out. Is that normal for the use of power chain to pull the teeth outward?

    • The powerchain will pull them apart, the rortations applied to the archwire will provide the outward forces you need.

      You probably already know this by now :).

  56. Hey, so I also have power chains, and I am feeling good. But is it normal of your teeth hurt because of some gaps closing during a period of time? If you know, please email me. THANKS ☺☺☺

  57. I’m 12 and I’ve had my top and bottom braces for 1 year and 6 months. I went to the orthodontist today and he put a power chain on the top and regular bands on the bottom. He put a power chain on top because I had a small gap between my two front teeth. People say they hurt worse, but I actually think the other ones hurt worse. Mine haven’t hurt at all…yet. I like the power chains better because I think they look better!

  58. Hi all.

    I grew up poor and had no way of getting braces when I was a kid. Long story short, I have gotten to a place in my life where I can now afford to take care of my teeth in the manner they deserve.

    This has always been a “bucket list” wish of mine – for over 35 years.

    Yes, at 48, I got braces. Last week, I got my first set of powerchains on my uppers. This was in order to close the gaps rapidly.

    As a result, the pain increased. The worst part is the inflammation behind my top two front teeth – it almost feels as if I burned the roof of my mouth. This is caused by the gums being squeezed upwards and outward (towards the inside of my mouth).

    It has been 5 days and the pain is only now beginning to subside.

    To battle this, I use:

    1200 mg Advil
    Orabase (OTC now – stuff is great as a topical pain reliever)
    Salt Water rinse

    milkshakes – a great (occasional) reward and the coolness helps a lot.

    And of course, keep up the regimen of brushing and flossing – 3x a day. I am told this pain should go away soon; I look forward to that day.

  59. I recently just got my powerchains off, and boy am I relieved! They were painful at first, but I did see a difference in my teeth from before I got them til now. I believe braces are well worth the pain in the long run! I had always been conscience about my smile, and I never used to smile in pictures. But now, all I do is smile, smile, smile! Braces really help, although they can be a little painful at times.

  60. Hi There,

    I am almost 40 and my teeth moved so quickly and easily – apparently I have weak teeth? – my braces created a gap so my orthodontist fitted a power-chain. This has already started working, within 12 hours!!!! should I be worried? ??
    Also, I am concerned that the power-chain may squish my other teeth together? I;m on my last month of braces and it’s only been 1 year – because they moved so easily. My bottom teeth were perfectly adjusted in two weeks!!!!

    Many thanks
    Karen 🙂

  61. I just got my braces a few weeks ago and I’m noticing that I’m getting a gap, will my doctor put a power chain on, and another question my appointment is in 8 weeks and I’ve had my braces on for 3 days without a power chain do you recommend I call my ortho or just wait (will the gap get bigger until my next appoinment? Please someone respond (ps. I am a teen 13 years old)

  62. Hi Franchesca, I have braces too…don’t worry, just wait until your next appointment. This happened to me plenty of times, I have a power chain too and it will close your gaps up nicely 🙂 When your orthodontist sees your teeth, he/she will know what to do…Im sure he/she will put a power chain on your gaps. And that should fix the problem but just wait until your next appointment. Don’t call your orthodontist unless you have a real concern, even about minor pain or a bracket detaching from your tooth. But if its something minor like a gap, then it can be easily fixed by your orthodontist at your next appointment. But if you really feel uncomfortable and want to call, feel free to! Hope all goes well with your braces!
    ~Zena Saleh

    • Okay thank you but will the gap I have get bigger because it’s a gap like only a the bottom half of my two front teeth so will it get bigger until my appointment in 6 or 8 weeks

  63. I dont think it will get much bigger…if it does, you wont really notice because it wont space that much out. And I actually have a powerchain on right now…and it helps and closes the gaps up really quickly! Its amazing! But yeah, they should close up quickly…but Ill tell you ahead of time, take ibuprofen or advil because they can hurt. They pull your teeth together so they can hurt…they did for me, but luckily not too badly, and the pain goes away within like 2 days or 3 like normal. How are your braces going?

    • They really hurt I can’t chew on the right side of my mouth but hey if it will make my teeth look better I’m all for it

  64. Hi! Anyways so I’m getting braces on Tuesday and I don’t know what kind I’m going to have I know that I’m on,y getting them on my top teeth and it will only be the front six but I have a big gap between my two front teeth and I was wondering whether I was going to have to have a power chain or not. Does anyone know?

  65. I’ve Had My Braces On Since December And Its Going On Three Months With Power chains On. Although I Thought At First They Weren’t Working (Because I Check My Teeth Everyday) Just Giving Me Constant Pain. I’m Seeing Progress As Far As The Gaps Being Closed On The Bottom Teeth Alot More Than I’m Seeing On The Top Teeth. The Gaps On The Front Two Teeth Are The Same As When i Started My Treatment. As Far As On The Left And Right Side Of Those Two Front Teeth, The Gaps Are Closing Quickly Than I Anticipated. I Was Given An Estimated 16 Months For Total Treatment. Is There A Possibility That It Could Be A Bit Shorter??

  66. Hi, I just had my power chain (they called it an a chain) put on today. This article was very helpful, and in a case your wondering the power chain is very painful the first day. Thanks for the info on it though!

  67. Yesterday at the dentist, I got a power chain of 3 on my back teeth on the top and bottom on both sides. On my right side the orthodontist also put a spring on the top and bottom. Why?

    • I now this from my experience with braces and i had a spring on mine not long ago, i believe my orthodontist told me that it is for making space between your teeth, you should check with him on your next appointment

  68. i have brace, and had both two teeth extracted on the upper and on the lower that is why my ortho needed to connect real big gaps from where the extraction happened. Right now i can see a big difference with my teeth since the gap has closed already. However, i had a problem with my right incisor, i notice a quite angled movement with it resulting to misalignment of 2 incisors. i kept telling my ortho about this but would always said that she doesn’t see any problem with it. Originally, my incisors are aligned. How can i correct it if my dentist won’t do anything about it. By the way, i am wearing my braces for more than 3 years now and i guess i have a very strong/hard teeth that it took them long to move. and it seems that my ortho is feeling annoyed with it.


  69. I have had a power chain on my upper teeth for about two months now, and a couple of days ago, i noticed that the last toth’s band is loose, it is stuck on but it is not wrapped around all the brace/metal part. My appointment is in a week, should I wait for the appointment or should i go sooner to have it checked out?

  70. Hi,
    I have had powerchain on top teeth for the last 3 months and elastic bands connecting top to bottom teeth since having two teeth extracted. This month my ortho has regular ligatures top and bottom and is having me wear elastic bands only on top teeth front to back during the day and then reverting to top to bottom teeth at night. I only realised there is no powerchain after a day since the visit and am wondering why given that I have a sizeable gap to close each side on top teeth. How effective are the elastic bands versus power chain when it comes to closing the gaps

  71. Good article! My fair share of power-chain is that I got it two days ago, and yes it hurts really badly. When my Orthodontist put them, he asked if I felt funny. I told him that it felt like a completely different set of braces. He promised I will get used to it. Hopefully within a day or two I will.

  72. Okay, I got power chains on both rows of my teeth yesterday, they hurt like H E double hockey sticks. I can’t eat anything! I don’t have any gaps and my teeth are pretty much straight. My Orthodontist is going to refer me to an oral surgeon to remove my four wisdom teeth that haven’t come in yet. Also extract four premolars. But what was the point of switching me from a size 18 to a size 25 wire in one day and adding chains?

  73. Hi I’m Jenne I’ve had my braces for almost 2 years already and about 2 days ago I finally got my linked power chain on my upper teeth, I was just wondering if you have to take the linked power chain off before eating?

    – thanks

  74. Hi,

    I’m in my 6th month of treatment and have had power chains put in this arvo, about 6 hours ago and the pain is barely bareable. My ortho warned me that I’d be really hating him in the morning – if this is the pain now, I can wait to feel the pain I’m supposed to feel tomorrow. Over 18 months left of treatment, hopefully power chains aren’t a big part of treatment. Although, within these few hours, my teeth have become quite gapped which is good but sucks.

  75. what is the difference between a open and closed power chain I have an opened one? currently in traditional braces and I feel like the spaces in my teeth are closing very slowly. I’ve had them since 8/2014 and I notice a difference but I still have a gap and now my appointment are farther out then before I’m now scheduled every 7weeks. is this normal thinking about seeking a new orthodontist I mean 6-7k isn’t something to dally with.

  76. Hi, I have had my power chains on for at least three months top and bottom. I am finding that my teeth are starting to move inwards and that my arch looks somewhat narrower. Because of this I am finding that my mouth is collapsing slightly on either side. Is this permanent? Do you think that it will go away after removing the power chains?

  77. Hello,

    My teeth weren’t all that bad so I got braces about 4 months ago and am close to getting them off. I had a couple few very small gaps one between my canine and the tooth to the side of it closest to my front teeth, then another between my right front tooth and the tooth next to it. Therefore, the dentist put power chains on to try to correct these minor gaps. They seemed to start to help but they appear to have began to cause a problem too. My two front teeth seemed to ever so slightly be off from one another(the left is slightly forward than the right) but it seems as though the power chains may be making this worse and making my left front tooth begin to barely overlap my right. I’m hoping to get these off in a month or so because other than these minor details my teeth are pretty straight now. What should I do? Thank you!


  78. I got braces last two weeks from now. Most of my friend who have braces too always asking me why my dentist put chain braces, not the normal braces for beginners like them. (i dont know what it is called). You think its ok? Other says it takes few months before the dentist change the braces into power chain braces.

  79. I have these two gaps that they’re trying to close. I have a power chain and I’m wearing elastics. I was wondering why the gaps aren’t closing?

  80. I was just curious… my daughter just got braces on TODAY
    and she got Power Chains right away. Is that normal? She doesn’t even have big gaps! I’m very confused.

  81. Hi i got power chains the other day and today i could barely eat anything . Its very painful , I dont have such big gaps does that mean that the pain will go away faster ? hopefully its worth the pain .
    -Feeling numb

    age :14

  82. That’s why I do have this power chains…it’s uncomfortable coz you can barely feels that it really thightens your teeth, I have this spaces in my teeth and hoping that this power chains could improves my teeth appearance!

  83. Hello! I have power chains on both my top and bottom teeth. On one of my bottom teeth, near the back of my mouth, the top half of the power chain ripped. I don’t know if I should go in to see my orthodontist because they allow us to still come in without an appointment if we have any problems. I was wondering if this is significant enough to go to the ortho to get it fixed as soon as possible or if I should just wait for my next appointment that is in another week.

  84. Just got a power chain put on yesterday and it hurts so much! I tried eating soft foods earlier, and I couldn’t chew anything. My mouth has been slightly parted all day long because my front teeth have been sensitive all day. And the rubber band I was instructed to wear on my upper right canine that goes to my lower right molar isn’t helping either.

  85. HI… My dentist keeps on changing the color of the rubber band I had in my teeth. Why it is so? Cant I get one standard color for all my teeth?????

  86. I got my brace on about 2 months ago to day I went to get a tightening and the put this thing that looks like a power chain but us under the wire and has normal bands on top the only color it came in was gray and the said it was to get rid of gaps what is it

  87. Well I just got power chains yesterday. At first it didn’t hurt much till later at night. Didn’t sleep at all although I took some pain medication before sleeping. My ortho didn’t tell me it was a powerchain, just mentioned it was an elastic that will help close the gaps in my teeth since the past procedures had opened a lot of gaps in between so I decided to go on a search to find out what these are called as I was just used to the normal ligatures.

    I can honestly say these things work fast. This morning when looking at my teeth I already see some changes,surprising how there is already an area most instant change. I’m only 4 months in my treatment and I feel like and hope that I am doing such good progress that my treatment should not take too long.

    Your page was quite informative and glad to have found it.


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