Streptococcus mutansforms xylitol-resistant biofilm on excess adhesive flash in novel ex-vivo orthodontic bracket model

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During orthodontic bonding procedures, excess adhesive is invariably left on the tooth surface at the interface between the bracket and the enamel junction; it is called excess adhesive flash (EAF). We comparatively evaluated the biofilm formation of Streptococcus mutans on EAF produced by 2 adhesives and examined the therapeutic efficacy of xylitol on S mutans formed on EAF.


First, we investigated the biofilm formation of S mutans on 3 orthodontic bracket types: stainless steel preadjusted edgewise, ceramic preadjusted edgewise, and stainless steel self-ligating. Subsequently, tooth-colored Transbond XT (3M Unitek, Monrovia, Calif) and green Grengloo (Ormco, Glendora, Calif) adhesives were used for bonding ceramic brackets to extracted teeth. S mutans biofilms on EAF produced by the adhesives were studied using the crystal violet assay and scanning electron microscopy. Surface roughness and surface energy of the EAF were examined. The therapeutic efficacies of different concentrations of xylitol were tested on S mutans biofilms.


Significantly higher biofilms were formed on the ceramic preadjusted edgewise brackets (P = 0.003). Transbond XT had significantly higher S mutans biofilms compared with Grengloo surfaces (P = 0.007). There was no significant difference in surface roughness between Transbond XT and Grengloo surfaces (P >0.05). Surface energy of Transbond XT had a considerably smaller contact angle than did Grengloo, suggesting that Transbond XT is a more hydrophilic material. Xylitol at low concentrations had no significant effect on the reduction of S mutans biofilms on orthodontic adhesives (P = 0.016).


Transbond XT orthodontic adhesive resulted in more S mutans biofilm compared with Grengloo adhesive on ceramic brackets. Surface energy seemed to play a more important role than surface roughness for the formation of S mutans biofilm on EAF. Xylitol does not appear to have a therapeutic effect on mature S mutans biofilm.

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