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Caries Res. 2002 Jul-Aug;36(4):288-93.

Lack of effect of chlorhexidine varnish on Streptococcus mutans transmission and caries in mothers and children.

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Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, Infectious Diseases and Health Promotion, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY 10012, USA.

Erratum in

  • Caries Res. 2010;44(5):508. Vermund, S V [corrected to Vermund, S H].


In a randomized clinical trial, we evaluated the effect of a 10% chlorhexidine varnish (Chlorzoin) on the mother-child transmission of Streptococcus mutans and on subsequent caries experience. Chlorhexidine (n = 38) or a placebo varnish (n = 37) was applied to the dentitions of 75 mothers at a time when their first babies were about 6 months old (approximate time of first tooth emergence). Three more applications at weekly intervals and subsequent applications at 6-month intervals followed the initial application. The mother-child pairs were followed up until the child's fourth birthday. Maternal salivary S. mutans levels in the treatment group remained significantly lower (p < 0.05) compared to the control group up to 12 months after the initial application. However, this intervention did not significantly alter the S. mutans colonization in children or the caries increment in either the mother or the child.

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