A study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Dentistry Oral Microbiology Laboratory found that dental bib clips may be potential sources of cross-contamination in the dental office. As part of the study, researchers sampled 50 bib clips from hygiene and dental operatories. One out of five bib clips were found to have a presence of significant microorganisms. Of most concern were the pathogenic species found: pseudomonas, S. aureus and the enteric bacteria, E. coli.
Bacteria from one patient can stay on the clip and be passed on to the next patient or dental healthcare worker. The species comprising the contamination on the clips were consistent with coming from saliva and/or dental plaque, skin or water lines.
Ways to avoid the risk of bib chain contamination include effective sterilization of chains between patients or choosing a disposable bib holder that is discarded with the bib.
Source: Study Finds Bib Chain Potential Source of Bacteria