Your child brushes, flosses, and rinses with fluoride—but is it enough to prevent all cavities? According to new research at OHSU’s School of Dentistry, multiple strains of the cavity-causing bacteria may remain in the mouths of children even after undergoing six months of full-mouth caries restorative therapy.
For the study, plaque from seven children, ages 3 to 12, who visited the dentist with severe early childhood caries, was collected at three appointments: prior to oral care, at the two- to four-week post-treatment visit, and at the six-month recall visit. Prior to treatment, between 3 to 7 strains of mutans streptococci were isolated from each of the 7 patients. Six months later, this number diminished to 1 to 2 dominant strains, some with high-acid producing potential.
“The implication of this study are that well-accepted practices for sever childhood dental caries therapy should be more closely examined for efficacy,” says Curt Machinda, Ph.D., principal investigator and OHSU professor of integrative bio-sciences and pediatric dentistry.
The study was published in the March-April 2012 issue of Pediatric Dentistry.