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Effects of probiotics on preventing caries in preschool children: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Nan Meng1
  • Qi Liu1
  • Qing Dong1,*,
  • Jianqi Gu2,*,
  • Yuanbo Yang3

1North China University of Science and Technology, 063000 Tangshan, Hebei, China

2Department of stomatology, HeBei General Hospital, 050000 Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China

3Department of stomatology, Tangshan Workers Hospital, 063000 Tangshan, Hebei, China

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.014 Vol.47,Issue 2,March 2023 pp.85-100

Submitted: 31 July 2022 Accepted: 21 September 2022

Published: 03 March 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Qing Dong E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Jianqi Gu E-mail:


This paper systematically evaluate the effects of probiotics on preventing caries in preschool children. The present systematic review was conducted following the Transparent Reporting of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and recorded in the International prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) database (registration no: CRD42022325286). Literature were screened from PubMed, Embase, Web of Sciences, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang and other databases from inception to April 2022 to identify randomized controlled trials on the clinical efficacies of probiotics in preventing dental caries in preschool children and extract relevant data. The meta-analysis was performed using the RevMan5.4 software and the Stata16. Cochrane handbook was used to assess the risk of bias. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADEprofiler 3.6) was used to determine the evidence quality. A total of 17 randomized controlled trials were eligible, of which two trials had certain levels of bias and 15 had a low risk of bias. Evidence quality assessment showed that the included trials were of medium quality. The meta-analysis results showed that Lactobacillus rhamnosus was associated with a reduced incidence (p = 0.005) and progression (p < 0.001) of caries in preschool children. Probiotics could reduce the number of high-level Streptococcus mutans in saliva (p < 0.00001) but could not reduce the number of Streptococcus mutans in dental plaque nor the amount of Lactobacillus in the saliva and dental plaque. Current evidence shows that probiotics could prevent caries in preschool children, but Lactobacillus rhamnosus was more effective in preventing caries than others. Although probiotics could reduce high levels of Streptococcus mutans in saliva, they could not reduce the amount of Lactobacillus in saliva and dental plaque.


Caries; Probiotics; Preschool child; Microorganism; Systematic review; Meta-analysis

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Nan Meng,Qi Liu,Qing Dong,Jianqi Gu,Yuanbo Yang. Effects of probiotics on preventing caries in preschool children: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2023. 47(2);85-100.


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