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Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2005 Sep;6(3):149-54.

Efficacy of chlorhexidine varnish applications in the prevention of early childhood caries.

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Department of Paediatric Dentistry, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany.



A prospective clinical study was conducted to evaluate the influence of 3-monthly applications of the chlorhexidine- containing varnish Cervitec on the colonisation of a child's oral cavity by mutans streptococci (MS) and on caries prevalence.


200 children aged 11.7 +/- 0.7 months were examined. Children's caries risk was assessed on the basis of their MS scores in saliva. Out of the 48 children in whom a high caries risk (> or =10(5) CFU/ml) was expected, 23 were treated with Cervitec at 3-month intervals (CHX group). The remaining 25 children of the high-risk group received no treatment and served as controls (group C). All parents received detailed information on the prevention of early childhood caries. 172 children had completed the study after one year.


During the course of the study the percentage of children with visible plaque on their maxillary incisors increased from 17.8% to 40.1% and the percentage of children given sweetened drinks in nursing bottles for the night rose from 16.3% to 18.0%. At the closure of the study 26.2% of the two-year-olds had salivary scores of MS > or =10(5) CFU/ml of saliva. The mean d(1-4)mft value increased from 0.05 -/+ 0.4 to 0.8 -/+ 2.9 and the mean d(1-4)mfs value rose from 0.08 -/+ 0.8 to 1.8 -/+ 5.9. No significant differences were demonstrable between the two-year-olds in groups CHX and C for colonisation of the oral cavity by MS or for d(1-4)mft values. In contrast the d(1-4)mfs values were significant lower in the CHX group as in the group C.


Poor feeding habits and deficits in oral hygiene cannot be compensated by the application of Cervitec.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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