BACKGROUND Dental caries develops as a result of the metabolism of carbohydrates by cariogenic bacteria present in a complex biofilm. The present study aimed to examine if bacteria in pooled supragingival plaque samples quantified using a "checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization" based panel of caries-related bacteria, could reflect the caries experience in a manner similar to saliva samples analysed using a chair-side method in a previous investigation. METHODS A total of 86 mothers and their children aged 4-6 years and 12-16 years old participated. Caries experience (DMFT/dmft; Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth for permanent and primary teeth) was registered clinically and radiographically. Caries was recorded at the D3 level (caries into dentine). The D/d component was divided into three categories. A pooled supragingival plaque sample per participant was obtained from posterior approximal sites. Analyses of 15 bacterial species were performed using the checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridisation technique. RESULTS No significant relationships were found between the bacterial scores and DMFT/dmft nor D/d groups. CONCLUSIONS Unlike the saliva samples and the chair-side method, interproximal pooled plaque samples analysed using the "checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization technique" did not reveal any significant relations between the bacterial counts and the caries experience.