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Do you have gaps between your teeth? How do you close teeth gaps? Braces can fix gaps in your teeth, but sometimes they need some help. We use them to help close the gaps! 

Appel Orthodontics uses various tools during your orthodontic treatment to give you the best smile we can. This includes everything from palate expanders to widen your dental arch and relieve crowded teeth to rubber bands to realign your jaws. 

What are power chains, and how do we use them with braces? How do they improve your oral health? Let’s find out! 

What Is a Power Chain? 

Braces can close gaps between teeth, but sometimes, they need help with the larger gaps. Power chains and a bit more movement to braces to close those larger gaps. 

Power chains are several elastic loops in a row. More elastic separates the loops, though one set connects the loops to each other. 

What Do Power Chains Do? 

The brackets and wires of braces use gentle pressure to move your teeth into their proper positions. Sometimes, that isn’t enough to close larger gaps in teeth. 

These elastic loops apply more pressure on the teeth to close those extra gaps. They aren’t used the whole time, only long enough to move the teeth together. 

When do you get power chains? Usually, they are used toward the end of your braces treatment once the teeth are aligned where they need to be. They pull the teeth together to line them up properly just before your braces come off. 

What Are the Types of Powerchains?

There are three main types of power chains for braces. 

  • Short chain: These have a small piece of elastic between the loops. Short power chains connect every other tooth and can close larger gaps.
  • Long chain: Each loop is connected by a longer piece of elastic.. They connect every third tooth together and close very large gaps, such as those created by a missing or extracted tooth.
  • Closed chain: There is no elastic between the loops. These power chains connect several teeth in a row together and can close several gaps at once. 

Does Everyone Who Gets Braces Get Power Chains?

Does everyone get power chains with braces? No, they don’t. Whether you do will depend on what spaces you have between teeth when you start and how spaced apart your teeth will be toward the end of your treatment. 


Patients with missing or extracted teeth often need power chains to close the gaps. Patients with several gaps in their teeth may also need power chains. It all depends on your treatment plan, which we will create during your first visit to Appel Orthodontics. 

We provide a thorough examination of your teeth and jaws and draw up a plan customized to your dental needs. We will tell you what appliances and tools we will use during your orthodontic treatment. The goal is to create your perfect, healthy smile. 

Do Power Chains Hurt?

Many people want to know if braces power chains hurt. Power chains may feel uncomfortable when they’re first put on your teeth, much like your regular braces adjustments. Your teeth may be sore for several days, but this is normal. 

You can relieve any discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers as directed on the bottle. You can also rinse your mouth with warm salt water, which will soothe sore gums and reduce swelling. 

As the power chains work, the archwire may begin poking you in the back. That’s because the teeth are closing together, causing the archwire to slide out the back of the molar bands that hold it. 

You can use braces wax, also known as dental wax or orthodontic wax, to cover the ends of the archwire until you see us again. We will trim the archwire when we see you so that it won’t continue to cause you discomfort. 

What Happens If My Power Chains Break?

Your power chains are made of a strong, durable elastic. They shouldn’t break if cared for correctly. However, if they do break, you need to contact us right away. We’ll need to replace them soon to keep your treatment on track. 

We recommend you avoid certain foods while wearing power chains. These are the same foods we recommend you avoid while wearing braces. They can damage the elastic loops just as they can damage your braces. 

  • Hard foods that can break your power chains or your braces. 
  • Sticky foods that can pull on your power chains and dislodge or break them. 
  • High-sugar foods that can form plaque and tartar, which can coat and damage your power chains and increase your chances of tooth decay. 
  • Chewy foods that can bend or break your braces wires or power chains. 

Avoiding foods isn’t fun, but remember, it’s only temporary. We’re certain you’ll feel it’s worth it once you see your gorgeous new smile! 

Power Chains and Braces in Philadelphia, PA

Power chains are one of many tools we use to create healthy, beautiful smiles. We want you to have a smile you’re proud to show off, and power chains are one way to close the gaps between your teeth.Are you ready for braces? Will you need power chains with your braces? Schedule an appointment with Appel Orthodontics in Philadelphia, PA, and we will show you what we can do for you!

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