Power Chains? Don’t be Alarmed!

April 18, 2012

At my most recent orthodontist appointment, Dr. Harrington told me that from now on I would be wearing ‘power chains’ on my lower teeth.

Power chains? Sounds scary! Isn’t that what they put on snow tires?

As it turned out, ‘power chains’ are just more bands! In this case, the power chains are a tooth-colored  ‘chain’ of elastics that link each bracket to the next and help close gaps faster. First, Dr. Harrington’s assistant removed two of my front brackets, replacing them with brackets that have a little hook on them. Then, using a hook-shaped tool, she looped each link of the chain onto a bracket and anchored it on the front hook.

Once the power chains were in place, I really couldn’t see or feel them, so it seemed like business as usual. However, Dr. Harrington told me I will have to be more mindful when brushing my teeth to really get those bristles in there and dislodge food. Since the power chain fits so snug against my teeth, it doesn’t leave much space.

Dr. Harrington also pointed out that I wasn’t doing as good a job  brushing the lower halves of my bottom teeth. He was right! I had been so focused on getting food out of my brackets and cleaning my top teeth, that I’d been neglecting my lower gum line.

Armed with my arsenal of tooth-cleaning tools, I vowed to tackle my tooth-brushing habits with enthusiasm. Well, maybe I overdid it a bit. The first day after receiving my power chains, I was vigorously brushing my back teeth and popped the power chain off!

I called the orthodontist for help and they scheduled an appointment for me. Lesson learned (again) – if something breaks, pokes, hurts or falls off, call your orthodontist’s office! They can usually take care of the problem quickly and with minimal fuss. That’s what they’re there for!

Since getting the power chain on, I’ve noticed the gaps in my bottom teeth are closing quickly. Dr. Harrington says we’re in the ‘fine-tuning’ stage of treatment now, which is so exciting. My teeth are already so much straighter than I ever imagined they could be. I’m getting compliments on my smile left and right. I just can’t wait to show it off, braces-free!

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