Mutans streptococci (MS) are transmitted in early childhood from the mother to the infant, mostly by saliva. This study evaluated the influence of chlorhexidine (CHX) varnish-mediated suppression of MS in mothers with high salivary MS counts on the frequency of MS colonization in their children at 2 years of age. Professional tooth cleaning followed by CHX varnish application in 16 mothers with high salivary MS counts resulted in a significantly lower number of MS-colonized infants at 2 years of age when compared to a control group of 13 untreated mother-child pairs with high maternal salivary MS levels. The frequency of MS colonization in the CHX-treated group was not significantly different from the one found in a negative control group of 15 mother-child pairs with low maternal salivary MS levels.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel