Have you ever seen someone with small brackets with wires on their teeth? This are called braces and they are used to adjust how the teeth are positioned and aligned. Power chain braces are used to apply force to the teeth.
What Are Power Chain Braces
Power chain brace is made up of elastic strings that are connected together and are used to close gaps between teeth. Normal braces are made by using tiny elastic band to hold the braces in place within the brackets.
However, a power chain brace has a chain-like appearance because the chain or elastic rings are connected to replace the individual ligatures and connect several brackets together. This means that power chain braces tie the brackets causing an uninterrupted chain whereas normal braces fit over individual brackets separately. Power chain braces look like long elastic band that has circular holes.
WHAT DO POWER CHAIN BRACES DO
There are many braces that can be used to fix tooth misalignment or disorder, but an orthodontist may choose to use power chain braces because of the following reasons:
It is easy to apply: The power chain braces are connected together and the rings are continuous, it is easier for the rings to be stretched to fit every brackets in the teeth without fixing them individually. Fixing the braces one after the other is time consuming for both you and your orthodontist.
It exerts more force: Normal braces are used to close the gaps in the teeth by applying force, well, power chain braces are preferred because they exert more pressure and force thereby reducing the amount of time you spend wearing them.
It has multiple uses: There are some movements or uses the power chain braces provide that are not found with traditional or normal braces. Some of these uses are closing spaces, redistributing spaces, and de-rotating teeth.
Power chain braces are versatile: They can be used with other braces to provide dental treatment to patients.
WHAT ARE POWER CHAIN BRACES USED FOR
There are many dental issues that requires a power chain brace applied on the patient’s teeth. Some of the uses of power chain braces are:
To align crooked teeth: There are many people who have misaligned teeth or their teeth crooked, this can cause them to have low self-esteem. One of the ways to correct this crooked teeth is by using power chain braces to apply pressure and bring them back to normal.
For closing gaps: Some gaps in teeth are natural while others occur during other dental treatment, these gaps are not like the common gaps in the teeth that are attractive. To close these gaps that are not wanted, power chain braces are used.
Turning rotating teeth: To correct rotated teeth, power chain braces are used for turning them.
For bite correction: Some childhood habits can lead to tongue thrusting and this can cause abnormal way of biting and chewing food. Power chain braces can be used to correct this abnormality.
To promote even spacing in the teeth: There may be dental procedures like fillings and veneers that need the teeth to be spaced so power chain braces are used to create that even space.
ARE THERE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POWER CHAINS AND REGULAR BRACES
Yes, there are differences between a power chain brace and a regular brace not just because the former is more colorful. Here are some differences between them.
- While regular braces are used for a long period of time, power chain braces are mostly used for short period of time (Orthodontic Braces Care, a site owned by a certified dentist).
- Regular braces are painful because they are tightened using arch wires which cause much pressure on the teeth causing pain. However, power chain braces are less painful because they do not put in much pressure but exert force.
- Power chain braces are made of soft elastic material whereas regular braces can be made with materials ranging from metals, ceramics and other hard material.
TYPES OF POWER CHAIN BRACES
There are different braces that are used in different dental treatment, some of them are:
- Short chain: Short chain power chain braces are used to close the gap between the lower jaw teeth. It has a 3.5 mm distance of interlinking and is placed in every tooth.
- Long chain: Long chain has a 4 mm interlink distance and it is used to close the gaps between the upper teeth. It is placed in every third tooth.
- Extra long chain: The distance is 4.5 mm and the distances are less including the holes. It is used in special treatments and the orthodontist should decide when to apply this type.
- Closed chain: Closed chain is continuous with an interlinking space of 3 mm. It is used to close the spacing between lower incisor teeth.
POWER CHAIN BRACES COLOURS
Power chain braces comes in different colors, the color you choose depends on certain factors like age, skin tone and maybe fashion sense of the patient. Pink, light pink, hot pink, green, orange, teal, light blue, dark blue, purple, light blue, navy, teal, purple, rainbow, turquoise, light purple, lavender, red, black, gray, metal, and clear chain are examples of colors that are available for power chain braces.
People with dark skin can go for colors like dark blue, gold, or dark red. Colors like blue, navy, light purple, pink, or violet are for light skinned people.
WHO CAN WEAR POWER CHAIN BRACES
There is no age limit to wearing power chain braces since it is used to correct dental issues. Younger people between the ages of 8 and 14 can get power chain braces to align their teeth, it is even easier because their teeth is still growing and can realign faster. Adults can also get braces. In fact, about 1 in 5 people receiving orthodontic treatment are over the age of 21 (American Association of Orthodontics).
ARE POWER CHAIN BRACES PAINFUL
Power chain braces are less painful but when they are been applied to the teeth by your orthodontist, you can feel slight pain. Even after they are put on the teeth, you need to revisit the orthodontist for readjustment, replacement or addition. It is totally normal to experience pain after the braces are adjusted but the pain should only last for few days.
To reduce the pain, you can take pain relief medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol). However, there are certain pain relief medicines that should be avoided because they slow down tooth movements. Medicines like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).
HOW LONG SHOULD POWER CHAIN BRACES BE WORN
How long you wear the braces depends on the dental situation of the patient and the treatment plan used by the orthodontist. Some people wear theirs for weeks, others wear power chain braces for months while those with complex dental issues can wear theirs for 1 to 3 years (American Dental Association)
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH POWER CHAIN BRACES
Some side effects of power chain braces are:
Tooth decay: After eating, some food particles can get stuck in between these braces. When these particles are not cleaned through brushing or flossing, it can lead to tooth decay and other extreme cases like cavity formation.
Gum disease: When plagues form in the teeth due to food particles that are not cleaned, they are cause irritation and inflammation of the gum.
Pain: When these braces are put on, adjusted or replaced, you can feel some pain and discomfort. Although the pain can go away within a week, for someone with little pain tolerance, it may be difficult for you.
Ongoing treatments and adjustments: You will have to see an orthodontist every four to six weeks for readjustment. This can cost money too.
Short tooth roots: The roots are what keeps the teeth firmly in the jaws. Because the power chain braces apply pressure and force to the teeth, this can lead to shortening of your tooth roots.
Lost correction: After the braces are removed, you must wear retainers. If these retainers are not worn, the corrective effects of the braces can be reduced
HOW TO CARE FOR POWER CHAIN BRACES
To reduce the side effects like gum disease, tooth decay and excess pain, there are ways you can care for your braces. Below are such ways:
Using soft brushes: Hard brushes are not good for someone with braces because they can interfere with the chains. While brushing, it is advised that you gently brush to reduce the pressure on the teeth.
Brush after eating: To avoid how food particles form around the braces and cause plague, it is advised that you brush after each meal. Even if you cannot brush after taking in every food, you can rinse with water.
Flossing: To remove the food particles that may be stuck in between braces, you can use floss threaders to help.
Checking your braces in the mirror: Doing this often will help you know when your braces are getting loosed, damaged or broken. Loose braces will no longer help you treat the dental issues you have for which the braces are recommended.
Avoiding certain food: Foods like high sugar foods can build plague easily. Hard foods can make your braces get broken and damaged while sticky foods can get attached to your braces causing plague formation.
Power chain braces are used to fix many teeth disorders like as aligning crooked teeth, creating even spacing between teeth, fixing rotating teeth, and correcting malocclusions. Power chain braces can be uncomfortable during the first week of usage but it becomes normal later. Most of the side effects can be avoided if good hygiene is adopted and the orthodontist is contacted when necessary.