Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of different cleansing agents in killing mixed species biofilms on silicone facial prostheses. Materials and methods: Two bacterial and three yeast strains, isolated from silicone facial prostheses, were selected for the mixed species biofilms. A variety of agents used to clean facial prostheses were employed, viz., antibacterial soap, essential-oil-containing mouth rinse, ethanol 27 %, chlorhexidine mouth rinse, and buttermilk. Colony forming units (CFUs) and live/dead staining were analyzed to assess the efficacy of these cleansing agents against 24-h and 2-week biofilms and regrown biofilms on silicone samples. Results: Chlorhexidine was the most effective cleansing agent. Chlorhexidine killed 8 log unit CFUs (>99.99 % killing) in a 24-h biofilm and 5 log unit CFUs (>99.99 % killing) in 2-week biofilms. Also, after regrowth and repeated treatment of the biofilm, chlorhexidine was the most effective cleansing agent showing no detectable CFUs. The essential-oil-containing mouth rinse (containing 26.9 % ethanol) showed a similar efficacy as ethanol (27 %) alone. Antibacterial soap and buttermilk were the least effective agents tested. Conclusions: Chlorhexidine showed the highest reduction in CFUs in 24-h, 2-week, and regrown mixed species biofilm of microorganisms isolated from silicone facial prostheses. Clinical relevance: Chlorhexidine mouth rinse (easy obtainable and relatively cheap) is very effective in killing bacteria and yeast present in biofilms on silicone facial prostheses. When applied on a regular basis, cleansing a facial prosthesis with chlorhexidine will presumably increase its lifetime and reduce skin irritations.
- Facial prostheses
- Silicone elastomers