Objective: This study investigates the effect of fixed and removable orthodontic appliances among children on salivary Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus sp. and Candida albicans. Study Design: The study was conducted on 69 patients aged between 6-17 years who used fixed or removable orthodontic appliances. Five ml samples of unstimulated saliva from each patient were collected at baseline and at the 1, 3 and 6 month periodic controls. Samples were diluted and plated on Mitis Salivarus Agar (MSA), Man Rogosa Sharp Agar (MRS) and Saboroud Dextrose Agar (SDA). The growths on the plates were examined under a stereomicroscope. Numbers of colony forming units (CFU) per plate were counted. For statistical analysis,the paired t test and Chi-Square were used. Results: S mutans and Lactobacillus sp counts increased significantly 6 months after the insertion of fixed/removable orthodontic appliances in the oral cavity. A significant increase for C albicans presence was noted after 3 months compared with baseline for fixed appliances.Conclusion: Long-term utilization of orthodontic appliances may have a negative effect on microbial flora and increase the risk of new carious lesions and periodontal problems. Patients should be recalled within short time intervals to be motivated for oral hygiene during their orthodontic therapy.

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