ORTHODONTIC INSTRUMENT CARE GUIDE

The following orthodontic instrument care guide will give you the insight and tools you need to effectively care for your orthodontic pliers and instruments and ensure you’re getting the most from your investment.


Orthodontic Plier / Instrument Pre & Post Sterilization Guide

Pre-Sterilization

  1. Remove all foreign material from the surface of your orthodontic pliers / instruments with a denture brush.
  2. Run your orthodontic pliers and instruments through and ultrasonic cleaner.
    • Tip Use distilled or deionized water.
    • Tip Do not allow orthodontic pliers / instruments to stay in ultrasonic unit longer than recommended.
    • Tip Use an ultrasonic solution that contains lubricants, rust inhibitors and doesn’t require rinsing. Try Precision Plier Service brand Multi-Purpose Ultrasonic Solution.
  3. Dry instrument completely with a towel or compressor air.
  4. Lubricate all hinged orthodontic pliers / instruments. Be sure to wipe off excess lubricant. Try Precision Plier Service brand Hinged Instrument Lubricant.

Sterilization

  1. Place orthodontic pliers / instruments on a rack or in a cassette and sterilize according to manufacturer specifications.
    • Tip Avoid exposing your orthodontic pliers / instruments to unnecessary moisture.
      • Allow your sterilizer / autoclave to complete the entire drying cycle.
      • Do not overload your sterilizer and / or bags.
    • Tip We recommend the use of dry heat sterilization whenever possible over other methods. Be sure to check local and state sterilization requirements.

What Causes Stains On Orthodontic Pliers And Instruments?

What Is Staining?
Staining is a surface deposit on orthodontic pliers and instruments, and most often mistaken for rust. After autoclaving, you may notice stains on your orthodontic plier / instruments. Rusting orthodontic pliers / instruments is very rare and usually occurs on older chrome plated and non-stainless steel orthodontic pliers / instruments. Stains on orthodontic pliers / instruments appears in many colors and, in most cases, the colors tell you about the origin of the stain.

Orange/Brown Stains
Orange / Brown stains that resemble rust on orthodontic plier / instruments is usually the result of a phosphate layer (brown to light orange) which develops as a result of one or more of the following causes: water source, detergents used to wash and clean instruments, cold sterilization solutions and high pH (above 7).

Black Stains
Black stains are most commonly due to acid reaction. Black stains may result from detergents used to clean the orthodontic pliers / instrument; similar to brown stains caused by high pH (above 7), the black stain can be caused by low pH (below 6) during autoclaving.

Dark Brown Stains
Dark brown stains are usually a result of dried blood left on an instrument. Blood should be removed from the surface of the instrument immediately. It will break down the instruments surface with a chemical reaction.

Blue/Black Stains
Blue/ black stains are usually a result of plating and are extremely difficult to remove from the orthodontic instrument surface. The cause for this stain is the mixing of dissimilar metals in ultrasonic cleaners and during sterilization. Multi-color stains are most often due to excessive heat (chromium oxide stains), and actually show rainbow colors with a blue or brown overtone. The staining can be polished off the surface of your orthodontic pliers however it will return after just a few sterilization cycles.

Minimize Staining On Your Orthodontic Pliers And Instruments

Follow these helpful tips to minimize staining on your orthodontic pliers/ instruments.


• When using an ultrasonic cleaner be sure to only use distilled or deionized water. This will ensure the harmful elements found in tap water are removed. Tap water will not only lead to surface stains but will also result in premature dulling of cutting edges.

• Don’t allow your orthodontic pliers / instruments to stay in the ultrasonic unit longer than necessary.

• Use an ultrasonic cleaning solution that contains lubricants, rust inhibitors and doesn’t require rising. Rinsing with tap water will not only lead to surface stains but will also result in premature dulling of your cutting edges. Try Precision Plier Service brand Multi-Purpose Ultrasonic Solution.

• Before moving on to sterilization be sure your orthodontic pliers / instruments are completely dry, try using a towel or compressed air. Moisture left on the orthodontic plier / instruments surface will result in surface stains.

• Be sure your sterilizer/autoclave is running correctly and the drying cycle work. The orthodontic pliers/ instruments should come out completely dry, whether wrapped or loose on a tray. If any moisture is left in the pack or on the orthodontic plier / instruments, it will result in surface stains after drying. The color of this stain will depend on the pH, and the mineral or metal contents of the water. If the drying cycle works perfectly, however, there is less chance for deposits to form on the surface of the orthodontic plier / instrument.

• If you have determined that your sterilizer /autoclave is running correctly you will want to make sure that you are allowing your sterilizer/ autoclave to complete the drying cycle. Stopping your sterilizer/autoclave before it has completed the drying cycle will result in moisture on the orthodontic plier / instrument surface leading to surface stains.

• Do not sterilize chrome plated and stainless orthodontic pliers at the same time. Electrolytic action will cause carbon particles to deposit on the stainless steel creating a potential for staining and corrosion.


Orthodontic Plier Trouble Shooting

Wire “Bends” When Attempting To Cut
Cause/s: Play in the orthodontic plier joint. The cutting edges of the orthodontic plier are allowed to “slide by” each other rather than meeting precisely opposite each other.

Orthodontic Plier “Scores” Or “Marks” Wire
Cause/s: Play in the orthodontic plier joint. The cutting edges of the orthodontic plier are allowed to “slide by” each other rather than meeting precisely opposite each other.

Orthodontic Plier Does Not Cut At The Very Tip
Cause/s: Orthodontic cutter edges are out of alignment. This is generally caused from a loose orthodontic plier joint or cutting an orthodontic wire that is larger than the orthodontic plier’s capacity.

Orthodontic Wire Cutter Doesn’t Hold Wire
Cause/s: Orthodontic cutter tips have excessive wear on tips or joint has become loose.

Orthodontic Plier Hinge Is Tight / Stiff
Cause/s: Orthodontic plier has corrosion and/or build of in the hinge. This can be addressed with Precision Plier Service brand Hinged Instrument Lubricant.


Orthodontic Plier / Instrument Care Products

Precision Plier Service offers a line of premium quality orthodontic plier and instrument care products. Instrument care products include a concentrated, no-rinse, Multi -Purpose Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution; a steam permeable hinged Instrument Lubricant and a convenient, non-toxic, Rust and Stain Remover. These products have been carefully formulated with one very specific goal in mind - Prolong Precision Performance tm. Get the most from your valuable orthodontic pliers and instruments with Precision Plier Service brand instrument care products.


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