Mutans streptococci (MS) are one of the most virulent cariogenic pathogens in the oral cavity. The effects of three oral hygiene techniques on salivary mutans streptococci levels were evaluated to see which mechanism would be most efficient in reducing salivary MS levels. Sixty patients, all in the permanent dentition, were selected and randomly distributed into three groups. Group I was asked to use a tongue scraper to brush the tongue once daily in the morning after normal tooth brushing routine. Group II was asked to place and let dissolve a Listerine Oral Care StripTM on the tongue once daily after normal oral hygiene routine. Group III was asked to rinse once every morning, for thirty seconds, with a saturated saline solution after routine tooth brushing. The instructions were done for a period of seven days. Baseline, one hour, three day, and seven day saliva samples were obtained and plated on CRT" by Vivadent MS-sensitive agar. All treatments groups show a significant reduction in colony counts from baseline and one or more post treatment periods and at one or more time periods between treatment groups. The most effective treatment in reducing colony counts was seen within Group I "Tongue Scraping" which demonstrated the greatest change from baseline to each of the post treatment periods. The least effective was Group II "Listerine Strip" which showed a statistically insignificant increase in colony count from baseline to 1-Hour and a significant decrease from baseline at the 7-day period only.

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