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Orthod Craniofac Res. 2014 May;17(2):115-23. doi: 10.1111/ocr.12037. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

The effects of different orthodontic appliances upon microbial communities.

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  • 1School of Oral and Dental Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.



Orthodontic appliances can promote accumulation of dental plaque, with associated enamel decalcification or gingival inflammation. The aim of this study was to examine longer-term microbiological changes during orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances.


Twenty-four orthodontic patients aged 11-14 years undergoing fixed appliance therapy were recruited into the study. Each was randomized for cross-mouth assignment of molar bands and bonded molar tubes to contralateral quadrants of the mouth. All patients received self-ligating brackets, but again using randomization, one upper lateral incisor bracket (left or right) also received an elastomeric ligature. Plaque samples from the molars and upper lateral incisors were obtained at intervals during treatment and up to 1 year after appliance removal. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 16S rDNA microarray were used to compare plaque microbial fingerprints.


Plaque populations changed within 3 months of commencing treatment at all sites. The greatest differences in plaque composition were seen with self-ligating brackets with an elastomeric ligature. Post-treatment plaque associated with both types of molar attachment contained increased levels of periodontal pathogens Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, and Eubacterium nodatum, while Campylobacter rectus, Parvimonas micra, and Actinomyces odontolyticus were also elevated with bonds.


The results suggest that orthodontic treatment may cause sustained changes in plaque microbiotas and that molar bond-associated plaque may have raised disease potential.

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


bands and bonds; dental plaque; gingivitis; microarray; periodontal disease

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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