OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the effect that infant formula had on biofilm growth of Streptococcus mutans. Specifically, it compared biofilm growth in media containing lactose-based and sucrose-based formulas. It also analyzed biofilm formation with formulas of varying iron content. Biofilm growth was tested with the specific infant formula components sucrose, lactose, and ferric chloride. The study was designed to determine if these types of infant formulas and components affected S. mutans biofilm formation differently.
STUDY DESIGN: A 24-hour culture of S. mutans was treated with various concentrations of infant formula diluted in bacteriological media. To test for biofilm formation, S. mutans was cultured with and without the infant formula and formula components. The biofilms were washed, fixed, and stained with crystal violet. The absorbance was measured to evaluate biofilm growth and total absorbance.
RESULTS: Sucrose-based formulas provided significant increases in biofilm growth when compared to lactose-based formulas at two dilutions (1:5, 1:20). Similac Sensitive RS (sucrose-based) at most dilutions provided the most significant increase in biofilm growth when compared to the control. Sucrose tested as an individual component provided more of a significant increase on biofilm growth than lactose or iron when compared to the control. A low iron formula provided a significant increase in biofilm growth at one dilution (1:5) when compared to formula containing a normal iron content. There was no significant difference in biofilm growth when comparing high iron formula to normal iron formula or low iron formula. There was no significant difference when comparing Similac PM 60/40 (low iron formula) to Similac PM 60/40 with additional ferric chloride.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrated that sucrose-based formula provided more of a significant increase in biofilm growth compared to lactose-based formula. Sucrose alone provided a significant increase of biofilm growth at more dilutions when compared to the control than lactose and iron. The amount of iron in formula had a significant effect on biofilm formation only when comparing low iron formula to normal iron formula at the highest concentration (1:5). There was no significant difference in biofilm growth when iron was added to the low iron formula. The information obtained expands current knowledge regarding the influence of infant formula on the primary dentition and reinforces the importance of oral hygiene habits once the first tooth erupts.
- S. mutans
- early childhood caries (ECC)
- ferric chloride
- infant formula
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health