The team has created a new material, which is designed to protect the tooth surface surrounding the bracket components of fixed braces. Often, patients who have fixed braces are susceptible to decay because it can be difficult to clean around brackets. Brackets are also prone to trapping food and bacteria.
To combat the common problem of decay in orthodontic patients, the London-based researchers have created an innovative bioactive bonding material, which releases fluoride, calcium, and phosphate to formulate fluorapatite. This substance is capable of remineralising the tooth surfaces that surround the brackets, which reduces the risk of plaque development. This, in turn, lowers the risk of cavities.
University professor, Robert Hill, described the news as a “significant breakthrough,” that will benefit the many patients who undergo fixed brace treatment. The latest study was an extension of research undertaken by BioMin Technologies when they were developing BioMin F toothpaste. The new adhesive has much lower sodium content than the toothpaste, which means that it “reacts, rather than dissolves.” The team is hoping to come up with a commercially viable product within the next two years.
More than 200,000 children and adults in England and Wales wear braces, and this is a development that could make a real difference to patients, especially those who are worried about staining and an elevated risk of decay.
The findings of the study have been published in the Dental Materials journal.