Influence of a low xylitol-dose on mutans streptococci colonisation and caries development in preschool children
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Aim: To evaluate the effect of xylitol-containing tablets on mutans streptococci colonisation and caries development in preschool children. Study design: Randomised single-blind prospective design. Methods: The material consisted of 132 healthy 2-year-old children, 71 boys and 61 girls and they were assigned to a xylitol tablet (test) group or a non-intervention control group. The mean age was 2 years + 1 month in both groups. The drop-out rate was 10.6% during the 2-year trial. The test group was given 1`-2 xylitol tablets (0.5`-1 g) per day during 1.5 years. Mutans streptococci (MS) enumeration was performed at baseline and semi-annually in the children and at baseline or shortly after in the mothers with a chair-side technique. Caries prevalence was scored at baseline and the age of 4 years. Results: No statistically significant differences in MS colonisation were disclosed between the test and control groups at baseline or any of the designated follow-ups. A statistically significant positive relationship was found between the maternal salivary MS levels and the colonisation of the children in the control group at 2.5 years, 3 years and 3.5 years (r=0.39, r=0.35; r=0.30; p<0.01, p<0.01 and p<0.05) but not in the xylitol tablet group (p>0.05). The mean caries prevalence was lower in the test group compared with the control group at 4 years of age (dmfs 0.38 ±1.05 vs. 0.80 ±2.60) but the difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: The findings do not support a low-dose xylitol tablet program for caries prevention in preschool children.
Key wordscaries; mutans streptococci preschool children xylitol
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- WHO: Oral Health Surveys: Basic Methods. 3rd edition, Geneva, World Health Organisation, 1987.Google Scholar