Prevention of early mutans streptococci transmission in infants by professional tooth cleaning and chlorhexidine varnish treatment of the mother

Caries Res. 2002 Sep-Oct;36(5):366-72. doi: 10.1159/000065958.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chlorhexidine / administration & dosage*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Prophylaxis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Mothers
  • Paint
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Streptococcal Infections / transmission*
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Chlorhexidine