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The Effects of Oral Irrigation on Adults with Braces

A two-month study of the effects of oral irrigation in an adult population with fixed appliances (braces).
Burch JG, Lanese R, Ngan P.
Department of Orthodontics, College of Dentistry, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Forty-seven adult orthodontic patients with fixed orthodontic appliances were divided into three study groups: (1) oral irrigation with automatic toothbrush, (n = 16); (2) oral irrigation with manual toothbrushing, (n = 16); (3) control group with continued normal toothbrushing only, (n = 15). Gingival and plaque indices, bleeding after probing, and gingival sulcus depths were assessed at baseline, 1-month, and 2-month periods. Marked and significant gingival and plaque improvements from baseline were measured in all three study groups.

After 1 to 2 months use of the automatic toothbrush and/or the oral irrigation device, there was a significant reduction in plaque when compared with the control group who used only the manual toothbrush (p = 0.026). Also, there was a significant reduction in gingival inflammation (p = 0.045) and evidence for reducing bleeding after probing (p = 0.037). No significant differences were found in probe depths among the three study groups, however, use of both devices reduced the pocket depth significantly from baseline by 0.5 mm (p < 0.0002). For this population of orthodontic patients, significant reductions in plaque, gingival inflammation, and a tendency for reduced bleeding after probing occurred in both groups with the power device. These improvements were most attributable to the effect of the oral irrigation device.·       

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