The aim of this study was to determine the reproducibility of individual versus pooled plaque sampling of permanent first molars (PFM) to quantitate Streptococcus mutans (SM)/total streptococci (TS). Ten individual and pooled plaque samples were collected from 35 subjects, randomly assigned to individual-first or pooled-first group. Plaque samples were processed and quantified for SM and TS. SM/TS ratio was used to determine the reproducibility within two group samples. Mean percentage of SM/TS in both methods were not significantly different. However, within subject detection of SM was found to be significantly more sensitive for individual sampling method. Despite the lack of a difference between both methods for SM/TS quantitation, the difference in SM detection suggests that individual sampling is more sensitive. © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.