Background and Aim: The aim of this study was to conduct in vitro and in vivo studies for the evaluation of antimicrobial potential of four Nigerian indigenous chewing sticks and to compare the oral effects of the popular Nigerian chewing sticks with toothpastes and other teeth-cleansing agents on a total of 21 and 17 oral bacterial strains isolated from children and adult dental caries respectively. Materials and Methods: Teeth cleansing agents were assayed in vitro against the isolated bacterial carries flora on de Man Rogosa and Sharpe (MRS) agar using modified agar well-diffusion methods. The simulated in vivo studies were carried out using twenty four human subjects. Results: The results obtained indicated that the bacterial flora exhibited different degrees of in vitro inhibitions of between low and moderate susceptibility against the teeth-cleansing agents. Toothpastes recorded the highest rates of inhibition against the dental caries isolates, while H2O2 was the most inhibitory among the chemical teethcleansing agents against the dental caries isolates from children (47.6%) and adults (52.9%). No species differential susceptibility to the teeth-cleansing agents was observed among the dental caries isolates. Conclusions: This study showed that combined teeth cleansing hygiene with toothpastes, chewing sticks and chemical teeth cleansing agent (H2O2) gave the best mouth feel and were found to be the most preferred.
Keywords: Chewing sticks, dental caries, indigenous, oral health and hygiene, teeth-cleansing agents.
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