Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A microbiological assessment of the oral hygiene of 24-72-month-old kindergarten children and disinfection of their toothbrushes

Tahsin Celepkolu1*, İsmet Rezani Toptancı2, Pakize Gamze Erten Bucaktepe1, Velat Sen3, Mehmet Sinan Dogan2, Veysel Kars1, Hamza Aslanhan1, Ilknur Aslan4, Tuba Dal5, Ismail Yıldız6 and Yılmaz Palancı7

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, Dicle University Medical Faculty, 21280 Diyarbakir, Turkey

2 Department Pediatric Dentistry, Dicle University Dentistry Faculty, Diyarbakir, Turkey

3 Department of Pediatrics, Dicle University Medical Faculty, Diyarbakir, Turkey

4 District State Hospital, Mazgirt, Tunceli, Turkey

5 Department of Medical Microbiology, Dicle University Medical Faculty, Diyarbakir, Turkey

6 Department of Biostatistics, Dicle University Medical Faculty, Diyarbakir, Turkey

7 Department of Public Health, Dicle University Medical Faculty, Diyarbakir, Turkey

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BMC Oral Health 2014, 14:94  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-94

Published: 2 August 2014



The objective of this study is to assess the index of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMF-T), habit of brushing teeth, and the microbiological agents accumulating on the children’s toothbrushes for 4 weeks and response of these agents to disinfection via a chlorhexidine solution, then compare those results with the education and income levels of the children’s parents.


Included in the study were 187 children (96 in the control group and 91 in the experiment group – chlorhexidine) chosen randomly from 600 kindergarten children whose ages ranged from 24 months to 72 months. The children selected had not taken any antibiotics, antimicotics for three months and dental treatments during this trial. The distribution of these children to the groups was also done randomly. After performing a survey for the education, occupation, and income status of the parents, the children were examined and the number of decayed teeth was recorded. The children were given toothbrushes, toothpaste (with fluroide), and the solutions (including distilled water and chlorhexidine) for four weeks under the condition that toothbrushes were returned at the end of each week. The 14 different microbiological agents observed as a result of the assessment of the samples taken in the first week were also included in the assessments of the samples taken over the four-week period.


The decrease in the DMF-T index was found to be meaningful according to the differences in education, income, and occupation status of the parents. Of all the samples taken from the toothbrushes, the bacteria with the greatest rate of reproduction included Streptococcus mutans, Escherichia Coli, Pseudomonas aeuroginosa, Enterococcus spp, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Candida albicans. Except for Candida albicans, the other microorganisms taken as samples from the toothbrushes reproduced less overall. In the group using the solution with chlorhexidine, a meaningful decrease in bacterial reproduction was discovered compared to the control group.


The findings of this study show that the education, occupation, and socioeconomic situations of the parents should be considered when discussing children’s oral and dental health. Moreover, the study shows that disinfection of toothbrushes in order to prevent reinfection and contamination oral flora with the bacteria again is important in terms of preventive medicine and family-children health.

Children’s dental health; Disinfection; Brushing teeth; Chlorhexidine