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Testing Amino Acid Toothpaste against Braces-Derived Plaque: Two Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials


Increased plaque, calculus, and tartar build-up are some of the worst consequences of braces and orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic brackets and wires act as inadvertent traps that collect food and plaque where bacteria accumulate, and subsequently cause heavy inflammation of the gums, cause pain, and generate subsequent bone loss. Current supplemental oral hygiene aids include floss threaders, “super-floss,” interproximal brushes, and most importantly reinforcing proper oral hygiene habits at every orthodontic visit. However, implementing these strategies often render ineffective due to the increased cost of additional appliances and due to patients’ non-compliance at such a young age and their unwillingness to change their oral hygiene habits.

Prior investigations within the last decade have recently identified arginine, an amino acid, as an active ingredient in oral dentifrices that help prevent dental sensitivity and dental decay. These recent investigations and advancements of amino acids in oral health care products have led to questions of whether they can also help in decreasing plaque that subsequently surround braces once orthodontic treatment starts. A recent study at UCLA (2015) has shown in-vitro bacterial plaque and biofilm that is specifically formed from an orthodontic bracket (Braces). Additionally, different combinations of amino acids were added to evaluate its efficacy in reducing this specific biofilm. Resultant data showed that a combination of the D-forms of arginine, alanine, and lysine proved to be the most effective of any combination tested towards the decrease of the bracket-derived plaque.

This previous study in-vitro study and previous notable associations of amino acids in its positive outcomes in oral health care have led us to investigate whether amino-acids (more specifically arginine, alanine, and lysine) in toothpaste can help prevent and reduce plaque in patients with braces. This will be conducted via two randomized, double-blind clinical trials and its analyses using both objective and subjective measures.

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