Objectives: The aim of the present study is to assess the means and methods being suggested by Greek orthodontists to their patients for cleaning their removable devices.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted among a total of 418 Greek orthodontists found from the registry of orthodontists in Greece. The clinicians were asked about the means and methods of daily cleaning they usually advise their patients for removable appliances. Furthermore, the questionnaire included questions related to possible complications of these devices and data about the use and type of applied devices.
Results: From 418 Greek orthodontists, 279 filled the questionnaire and participated in this study. All but one reported that they use removable appliances in their practice for patients of almost any age. All orthodontists recommend routine manual toothbrushing, but the majority of them also suggest at the same time other oral hygiene aids complementary to brushing, such as immersion in denture cleaners (70.06%), in disinfecting solutions (12.73%) and in vinegar (36.94%). Some 15% of all the practitioners advise the use of ultrasonic instruments for cleaning removable orthodontic appliances. At last, clinicians have faced complications from the use of removable devices in the oral cavity at a statistically significant percentage. The most usual is trauma of the mucosa, mycosis and hyperplasia.
Conclusion: Greek orthodontists use removable orthodontic appliances, active or passive, in their practice. Brushing with a toothbrush and the use of cleaning products for removable prostheses are the preferred methods for cleaning removable orthodontic appliances regardless of the orthodontic specialty programme they had graduated from.