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If you’re wearing braces, chances are you’re going to wear power chains at some point during your orthodontic treatment. If you’re not familiar with the term, power chains are elastic chains made up of connected rings, or ligatures. They’re mainly used for closing gaps, and your orthodontist will cut however many links they need out of a large spool.
At the orthodontist’s office, you’ll be able to choose from a large collection of power chain spools, so it’s important to get the color right. Just like with elastic ligatures, there are some colors to avoid, and we’ll discuss them in this article. I’ll also give you the best options of both bold and discreet power chain colors.
Best colors for power chains
Power chains take up more space on your teeth than elastic ties (the small rings you usually have on your brackets). Because of this, power chains are much more visible, so getting the color right is that more important.
So if you’re looking to go with a bold color, choose wisely, and make sure the color suits you, because you’ll be wearing it for at least a month. Consider your skin tone, hair and eye color as well as the colors you mostly have in your closet when choosing a power chain color.
Here are, in my opinion, the best options:
Red power chains look awesome. Red bold, but elegant enough to look as a neutral, and is an excellent choice for both male and female patients. Red tends to make teeth appear whiter, so if you’re not blessed with naturally white teeth, try red power chains for a change.
If you’re not convinced that bold red is for you, see if your orthodontist can offer burgundy or maroon power chains. Unfortunately, the color palette for power chains is more limited than that of elastic ties, but you might just get lucky.
Black power chains are powerful and daring, but they’re also the most stain-resistant elastic out there. So if you’re a smoker, drink lots of coffee or eat pigmented food regularly, black is a safe option.
But black on braces, while it may seem like too bold, can actually look really good. Most dark colors look great on teeth, especially if your skin is light, and black is no exception.
Black is quite popular with boys, but they also work great for patients who wear dark frame glasses. Are you a minimalist wearing mostly black and white clothes? Then black power chains are a no-brainer.
Pink, violet, purple
Pink is by far the most popular power chain color I use in my office. Girls and women alike go for pink because it’s delicate yet cheerful, and compliments lip color. Pink comes in many shades, from light pink to neon pink, all the way to violet. Your orthodontist is most likely to offer many shades of pink power chains.
Violet and purple are equally flattering. Lavender is a popular option with girls, and dark purple is a fail safe power chain color for both girls and boys. If you love dark colors, trade your black power chains for a dark purple or eggplant shade every once in a while.
Light blue, dark blue
Most boys I see in my office go for light blue power chains, but there are actually many types of blue our patients can choose from. Regardless of the colors your office might have, remember to choose a blue that’s pigmented, so it doesn’t loose color, or worse, turn green.
Blue, aqua and navy are great power chain colors for both genders, and will suit you even better if you have blue eyes and blonde hair. However, blue can appear very colourful and very striking, so if you’re not looking to draw attention, it’s best to stay away and choose something more neutral or go a shade darker.
While quite similar to blue, teal and turquoise power chain shades are in a category of their own because they can look very special, so they’re the perfect choice if you’re looking to make a statement with your braces.
Teal and turquoise work best if you have darker skin, or if your skin is tan, and they’re best worn in the summer as they give off vacation vibes.
As I mentioned with blue, teal and turquoise can draw too much attention and be quite visible, so if you’re not comfortable with that, it’s best to choose a more neutral power chain color.
Best Color Power Chains for ceramic braces
Most patients wearing ceramic braces go with the conventional transparent or pearl power chains, but every now and again, some patients ask for a pop of color. If you never considered colored power chains on ceramic braces, perhaps it’s time to give them a try.
Here’s what I recommend:
Best discreet colors for power chains
Silver is the perfect color for those who want a discreet look with their braces. The metallic aspect of the braces blend perfectly with silver power chains, making them barely noticeable. This makes silver a great choice for anyone who wants to keep their braces as low-key as possible.
Pearl is tooth-colored shade that may look like a cross between transparent and white. When choosing this power chain color, look for a shimmery off-white shade that’s slightly transparent, or better yet, ask your orthodontist. I like to use pearl on ceramic braces better than transparent because it stains much less, which is the number one complain I get with power chains.
However, pearl can also work well with metal braces if you’re not a fan of the dark silver, making them look less metalic, but still discreet.
Power chain colors to avoid
Green: The Leafy Green Vegetable Look
Green power chain colors are a big no-no if you want to avoid looking like you’ve got a leafy green vegetable stuck in your teeth. This color can easily detract from the overall appearance of your braces and make you self-conscious about smiling. It’s best to steer clear of this color if you want to maintain a clean and polished look.
Yellow: The Unflattering Shade
Yellow power chain colors are also not a great choice when it comes to braces. This color has the potential to make your teeth look yellow, which is not a flattering look by any means. It’s important to choose a color that will complement your teeth, not detract from them. Yellow power chains should be avoided if you want to keep your smile looking its best.
Orange: A Yellow Teeth Accent
Just like yellow, orange power chain colors have the potential to make your teeth look yellow. This color can be particularly unflattering if you have a naturally bright and white smile. If you want to keep your smile looking its best, it’s best to steer clear of orange power chains.
Brown: The Food Stain Look
Brown power chain colors are another color to avoid when it comes to braces. This color can easily look like food stains or cavities, making your teeth appear unhygienic. If you want to maintain a clean and polished look, it’s best to opt for a different color that won’t draw attention to your braces in a negative way.
Transparent: The Staining Problem
Finally, transparent power chain colors are another color to avoid when it comes to braces. This color is particularly problematic because it stains very easily. Over time, the color of your power chains can become discolored, making your braces look dirty and unkempt. If you want to maintain a clean and polished look, it’s best to choose a different color that won’t stain as easily.
A word of caution
If you’re tempted to buy a few spools of power chains off eBay or Amazon, because your orthodontist’s colors are “boring”, please DON’T. Replacing your power chains at home activates your braces and can wreak havoc on your teeth.
Power chains are not meant to be changed with fresh ones more than once every 4 to 6 weeks. Teeth need a rest period between for applications, and constantly applying tension just because you want a new color is a really bad idea. Not to mention that your orthodontist will soon figure out what you’re doing.
I’m only mentioning this because I’ve seen people on forums or social media do this to their braces, and I’m sure they’re unaware it can actually prolong treatment time. Not to mention they risk breaking brackets or hooks in the process!
Hopefully, you’ve made up your mind about the power chain color you’re going to choose at your next orthodontic appointment. Whether you’re adventurous and choose to change colors at every visit, or like to stick with your favorite, keep in mind that power chains are bold and visible. You can use your choice of color to attract attention, or to cover up the metal in your braces. Either way, try to have as much fun as possible, and you’ll have your braces off before you know it.
Whether you’re new to braces or a braces veteran, taking care of your teeth (and your health) during orthodontic treatment is crucial. That’s why I’ve put together a list of orthodontist-recommended tools that will make caring for your braces a breeze: