A randomised, controlled clinical trial comparing chlorhexidine gel and low-dose fluoride toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries

Pukallus, Margaret L., Plonka, Kathryn A., Barnett, Adrian G., Walsh, Laurence J., Holcombe, Trevor F., & Seow, W. Kim (2013) A randomised, controlled clinical trial comparing chlorhexidine gel and low-dose fluoride toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(3), pp. 216-224.

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Objectives This randomised, controlled trial compared the effectiveness of 0.12% chlorhexidine (CHX) gel and 304% fluoride toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries (ECC) in a birth cohort by 24 months.

Methods The participants were randomised to receive either (i) twice daily toothbrushing with toothpaste and once daily 0.12% CHX gel (n = 110) or (ii) twice daily toothbrushing with toothpaste only (study controls) (n = 89). The primary outcome measured was caries incidence and the secondary outcome was percentage of children with mutans streptococci (MS). All mothers were contacted by telephone at 6, 12, and 18 months. At 24 months, all children were examined at a community dental clinic.

Results At 24 months, the caries prevalence was 5% (3/61) in the CHX and 7% (4/58) in the controls (P = 0.7). There were no differences in percentages of MS-positive children between the CHX and control groups (54%vs 53%). Only 20% applied the CHX gel once daily and 80% less than once daily.

Conclusions Toothbrushing using 304% fluoride toothpaste with or without the application of chlorhexidine gel (0.12%) reduces ECC from 23% found in the general community to 5–7%. The lack of effect with chlorhexidine is likely to be due to low compliance.

Impact and interest:

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8 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 63087
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: childhood caries, randomised controlled trial
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2012.01248.x
ISSN: 1365-263x
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > DENTISTRY (110500)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2013 22:28
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013 21:17

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