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The Effect of 10% Povidone-Iodine on S. Mutans Levels in Children with "Early Childhood Caries" Sharifzadeh-Amin, Maryam


An antibacterial agent that is effective and acceptable to young children will be a useful supplement to behaviour modification techniques for the prevention of early childhood caries. Objective: The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of 10% povidone-iodine solution (betadine) on S. mutans in children with dental caries. Methods: The study was designed as a randomized single blind, no treatment control trial. Twenty-five children between 2 and 6.8 years of age with unremarkable medical history were recruited from a private pediatric dental practice in Burnaby, BC. All subjects were scheduled for dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia. Parents completed a consent form and a variety of survey instruments. Before intubation, height and weight of all participants were recorded and these measurements were repeated at all subsequent study appointments for children in experimental group. Dental examination data and the plaque sample were collected after intubation. Following dental treatment, children were randomly assigned to the experimental group (N=13) or the control group (N=12). Experimental children had betadine applied 3 times at 2-month intervals and no treatment was employed for control children. After 6 months, both experimental and control children received another dental examination and a mouth swab was taken from all subjects. Plaque samples were cultured for total bacteria and S. mutans. Results: Betadine application was well-accepted by all experimental children. No adverse effect was reported. At baseline, experimental and control children had similar dietary habits, dmfs, and S. mutans levels. All children's S. mutans counts decreased significantly at 6 months (P=0.0004). Although the overall S. mutans decrease was greater for experimental children than for control children, this difference was not significant (P=0.58). Ten of 13 experimental children had a ≥1 log₁₀ decrease in S. mutans over 6 months, compared with 7 of 12 control children. The number of children with new cavitated carious lesions at 6 months was the same for both groups. For this group of children, the effect of rehabilitation under general anesthesia may have made a major contribution to decreasing plaque S. mutans at 6-months post-treatment that overwhelmed the effect of betadine. Conclusion: Results suggest that betadine may have an effect on S. mutans, but additional research with more subjects and a longer time period after application are indicated.

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