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.