AIM: The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of a disposable gauze soaked with chlorhexidine and rolled up on the finger vs chlorhexidine mouth rinse (CM) to maintain oral hygiene. METHODS: In this single-blind, randomized trial, both groups were instructed to brush their teeth and use the 0.12% chlorhexidine intervention twice per day (experimental group: toothbrushing + chlorhexidine-soaked gauze; control group: toothbrushing + mouth rinse). The main outcome was the change in full mouth plaque index scores from baseline to 2 weeks. Secondary outcomes were the patient's appreciation (visual analog scale) and the bleeding index. RESULTS: The final sample consisted of 60 young patients: 31 in the experimental group and 29 in the control group. After 2 weeks, both interventions were effective in reducing plaque index. The percentage of score reduction was 33% in the experimental group and 30% for the controls, with no significant difference between groups. Both interventions reduced the bleeding index, but this reduction was significant only in the experimental group (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: There is no difference between chlorhexidine-soaked gauze and CM regarding plaque control. In addition, gauze soaked with chlorhexidine was significantly more effective in reducing the bleeding index score and was appreciated by the patients.
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