Need for Disinfecting New Orthodontic Brackets-A Reality Check
Aim: Ideally all orthodontic appliances are to be sterilized before using it on patients to prevent any iatrogenic infection. However, this is not followed in daily practice. Contamination of unused orthodontic brackets could be due to unhygienic practices during manufacturing, packaging, delivery and maintaining stocks in orthodontic offices. Hence this study is aimed to find out if the unused orthodontic brackets are microbe-free to be used in patients. The secondary aim of the study is to evaluate the disinfecting efficacy of two commonly used disinfectants- povidone iodine and glutaraldehyde on brackets which were uniformly contaminated.
Materials and Methodology: Ten bracket samples from ten different manufacturing brands were used in this study. One bracket sample was chosen as the control group. Ten bracket samples were subjected to microbiological tests to find out the growth of bacteria. Brackets that were positive for microbial growth were contaminated uniformly and then disinfected with 10% povidone iodine and 2% glutaraldehyde to evaluate the efficacy of disinfectants
Results: Microbial contamination was found in five out of the ten bracket samples tested. An average of three colony forming units was found in the samples. On disinfection for 10 minutes with 10% povidone iodine and 2% glutaraldehyde, no bacterial growth was found in any bracket samples
Conclusion: Results of the study suggest a recommended and viable procedure to disinfect the brackets before using them on patients. This simple procedure of disinfecting for a short duration of ten minutes would go a long way in preventing the iatrogenic transmission of infection.