Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of fluoride-releasing elastomeric modules in the control of Streptococcus mutans levels in the oral cavity.
Materials and methods: The study consisted of 30 patients, with two experimental periods of three weeks and a three-week washout period between experimental periods. At the first visit, fluoridated modules were placed around brackets on 12 11 33 and non-fluoridated ones on 21 22 43. During the 2nd visit, the modules were removed and sent for a microbiological analysis. Non-fluoridated modules were placed on all brackets for one visit to allow for a washout period. At the 3rd visit, fluoridated elastomeric modules were placed around brackets on 21 22 43 and non-fluoridated on 12 11 33. At the 4th visit, the procedures at the 2nd visit were repeated.
Results: A mean comparison between bacterial counts of fluoride-releasing and non-fluoridated elastomeric modules in both the trials were done by the Mann–Whitney U test, which showed the result to be significant (p < 0.001). The mean comparison of bacterial counts between fluoride-releasing and non-fluoridated elastomeric modules in a specific area was done by the Wilcoxon signed rank test, which showed the result to be significant (p < 0.001). A comparison between bacterial counts of fluoride-releasing elastomeric modules in both trials were done by the Mann–Whitney U test, which also showed a significant result (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The sustained-release fluoridated elastomeric modules are effective in reducing the levels of Streptococcus mutans in dental plaque around the brackets for a time period of 21 days.
Clinical significance: The sustained-release fluoridated modules were effective in reducing the CFU of S. mutans and are also stable at the end of 21 days of the experimental period. But the action of fluoride released from the modules is localized, temporary, and requires constant maintenance of these modules over the brackets throughout the treatment period.
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