Dental aligners, also known as retainers, are plastic devices that are used to slow adjust the position of the teeth. They’ve become extremely popular, but they require frequent changes because bacteria is known to make a home within the devices’ many small curves. Now a team of Korean researchers have developed a coating that can be applied to clear overlay appliances, a more general term for aligners, that keeps bacteria off of their surfaces.
The polysaccharide-based material is a polymer sheet coated with glucol and layers of carboxymethylcellulose and chitosan. It is very hydrophilic, so much so that bacteria really doesn’t like to stick to it since water likes to stick to it even stronger.
The team tested the material and showed that plastic covered by it leads to a 75% reduction in bacterial contamination compared to bare plastic.
Study in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces: A Polysaccharide-Based Antibacterial Coating with Improved Durability for Clear Overlay Appliances…