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Cleansing orthodontic brackets with air-powder polishing: effects on frictional force and degree of debris

Brisa dos Santos Leite Nathalia Carolina Fernandes Fagundes Mônica Lídia Castro Aragón Carmen Gilda Barroso Tavares Dias David Normando About the authors



Debris buildup on the bracket-wire interface can influence friction. Cleansing brackets with air-powder polishing can affect this process.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the frictional force and amount of debris remaining on orthodontic brackets subjected to prophylaxis with air-powder polishing.


Frictional force and debris buildup on the surface of 28 premolar brackets were evaluated after orthodontic treatment. In one hemiarch, each bracket was subjected to air-powder polishing (n = 14) for five seconds, while the contralateral hemiarch (n = 14) served as control. Mechanical friction tests were performed and images of the polished bracket surfaces and control surfaces were examined. Wilcoxon test was applied for comparative analysis between hemiarches at p < 0.05.


Brackets that had been cleaned with air-powder polishing showed lower friction (median = 1.27 N) when compared to the control surfaces (median = 4.52 N) (p < 0.01). Image analysis showed that the control group exhibited greater debris buildup (median = 2.0) compared with the group that received prophylaxis with air-powder polishing (median = 0.5) (p < 0.05).


Cleansing orthodontic brackets with air-powder polishing significantly reduces debris buildup on the bracket surface while decreasing friction levels observed during sliding mechanics.

Orthodontic bracket; Friction; Dental prophylaxis.

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