Using cotton swab specimens of dental plaque from children aged 6–36 months, four commercial chairside tests for oral bacteria were evaluated by comparison with conventional selective culture: mitis salivarius kanamycin bacitracin agar for mutans streptococci and Rogosa SL agar for lactobacilli. Representative colonies of all isolates were identified by commercial identification kits. According to qualitative evaluations, all chairside tests for mutans streptococci were effective in our population. Those for lactobacilli were not as effective, due mainly to a high recovery of yeast contaminants.

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