Preventive Measures to Reduce the Transfer of Streptococcus Mutans from Pregnant Women to Their Babies
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Background/purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the transfer of Streptococcus mutans to babies from prospective mothers in whom protective measures were carried out and who were trained in dental health care. Materials and methods: Pregnant women were given fluoride varnish and restoration of active mutans caries once during their pregnancy. No application of fluoride or restoration was given to the control group. Microbiological samples were taken after delivery of the babies in the control and study groups and after the babies had completed their 8(th) week, to obtain S. mutans isolation plaque samples. Colonies of S. mutans were calculated as colony-forming units (cfu). Samples were determined to be positive when both tests showed the presence of S. mutans. After the colonies were counted, the number of colonies was graded as 0, not-visible; 1, <10(3) cfu; 2, 10(3)-10(5) cfu; and 3, >10(5) cfu. Statistical analyses were performed with the Shapiro-Wilk test, Student's t test, chi(2) analysis, Wilcoxon test, Spearman's correlation analysis, and Fisher's exact test using SPSS software. Results: After applying the preventive treatment program in the test group, statistically significant differences in both the plaque index and the number of S. mutans colonies were observed (P = 0.001). There was a significant relationship of the number of S. mutans colonies of the control and test groups with those of the babies (r = 0.336, P = 0.009). Conclusions: Streptococcus mutans is commonly transferred from mothers to their babies, and the preventive program applied to the pregnant women reduced both the amount of plaque and S. mutans colonization and thus had a positive effect. Copyright (C) 2011, Association for Dental Sciences of the Republic of China. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.