European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 219–226 | Cite as

Inhibitory effects of children’s toothpastes on Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguinis and Lactobacillus acidophilus

  • A. Evans
  • S. J. Leishman
  • L. J. Walsh
  • W. K. SeowEmail author
Original Scientific Article



As suppression of Streptococcus mutans in young children may prevent or delay colonisation of the oral cavity, toothbrushing with dentifrices containing anti-S. mutans activity may aid in preventing caries. The aims of this study were to compare the effects of children’s dentifrices on the growth of S. mutans and non-mutans bacteria (Streptococcus sanguinis and Lactobacillus acidophilus).

Materials and methods

The agar diffusion assay at neutral pH was used to examine the antibacterial activity of commercial dentifrices and their major constituents.


Dentifrices containing 1,450 ppm fluoride produced greater growth inhibition of both S. mutans and S. sanguinis than those with <500 ppm. No inhibition was seen for pure solutions of sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate at fluoride concentrations up to 100,000 ppm. Stannous fluoride exerted antibacterial effects at concentrations above 10,000 ppm. Significant growth inhibition of both S. mutans and S. sanguinis was seen with sodium lauryl sulphate at 2,500 ppm and with triclosan at 100 ppm. No inhibitory effects were seen for xylitol, sorbitol, sodium pyrophosphate or polyethylene glycol at concentrations up to 80,000 ppm.


Sodium lauryl sulphate is the major bacterial inhibitory compound in children’s dentifrices.


Children’s dentifrices Streptococcus mutans Sodium lauryl sulphate Triclosan 



This study was supported in part by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Grant No.1046779) and the Australian Dental Research Foundation (Grant No. 72-2012). The authors thank Dr. Lei Chai, postdoctoral fellow, School of Dentistry, University of Queensland, for laboratory assistance.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Evans
    • 1
  • S. J. Leishman
    • 1
  • L. J. Walsh
    • 1
  • W. K. Seow
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of DentistryThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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