Self-ligating orthodontic brackets rely on clips, rather than ligatures, to hold the archwire in place. It is unknown whether replacing ligatures with clips affects the adherence of Streptococcus mutans. The aim of this research was to evaluate whether self-ligating brackets have an advantage over conventional brackets as determined by the adherence of S mutans.Methods
The sample consisted of 50 esthetic brackets, divided into 3 experimental groups and 2 control groups of 10 brackets each. Two experimental groups were active self-ligating brackets (QuicKlear; Forestadent, Pforzheim, Germany; and In-Ovation C; Dentsply GAC, Bohemia, NY); the other was a passive self-ligating bracket (Damon 3; Ormco, Glendora, Calif). The 2 control groups were conventional brackets (Mystique; Dentsply GAC; and Clarity; 3M Unitek, Monrovia, Calif). The brackets were randomly bonded to the canines, first and second premolars, and first and second molars in the mandibular left hemiarch of 10 male participants. Biofilm was collected from the tooth surfaces before bonding and from the brackets on day 21 and placed in Petri dishes containing Mitis salivarius agar. The brackets were removed on day 28 and examined by using scanning electron microscopy. Statistical analysis, analysis of variance, and the Tukey correction with a P value of 0.05 were used.Results
The greatest numbers of colonies were found in an active self-ligating bracket group (In-Ovation C), and the fewest colonies were in a conventional bracket group (Clarity). The largest colonies formed on active self-ligating brackets. In the slot, the greatest formation was in a control group (Mystique).Conclusions
Self-ligating esthetic brackets do not promote greater or lesser S mutans colonization when compared with conventional brackets. Differences were found to be related to the material composition of the bracket.