The aim of the study was to investigate the efficacy of the use of xylitol-containing tooth-wipes in preventing dental caries in young children. In a double-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial, 44 mothers with active caries and their 6- to 35-month-old children were randomized to xylitol-wipe or placebo-wipe groups. The children's caries scores were recorded at baseline and 1 year. Salivary levels of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli were enumerated at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. Data were analyzed by intent-to-treat modeling with imputation for caries lesions and a linear mixed-effect model for bacterial levels. Significantly fewer children in the xylitol-wipe group had new caries lesions at 1 year compared with those in the placebo-wipe group (P < 0.05). No significant differences between the two groups were observed in levels of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli at all time-points. Daily xylitol-wipe application significantly reduced the caries incidence in young children as compared with wipes without xylitol, suggesting that the use of xylitol wipes may be a useful adjunct for caries control in infants (Clinicaltrials.gov registration number CT01468727).
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01468727.