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J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 1998 Jun;16(2):61-6.

Oral habits in children--a prevalence study.

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  • 1A.B. Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore.


This epidemiological study was conducted upon 4,590 school children to find the prevalence of oral habits in Mangalore in relation to their age and sex and to find the correlation, if any, between the habits and the malocclusion status. We noted that 29.7% of the population had habits of which 3. 1% had digit sucking, 4.6% mouth breathing, 3.02% tongue thrusting, 6.2% bruxism, 6% lip/cheek biting, 12.7% nail biting, 9.8% pencil biting and 0. 09% masochistic habits respectively. Digit sucking, pencil biting and tongue thrust were highly prevalent among Group 1 (3-6 years) children. Mouth breathing and bruxism were significant in Group 2 (7-12 years) cases whereas lip/cheek biting and nail biting were more common in Group 3 (13-16 years) cases. Digit sucking, tongue thrust, mouth breathing and bruxism were more prevalent among the boys whereas lip/cheek biting, nail biting and pencil biting were more prevalent among the girls. 28.95% of the children in Group 2 and 3 with habits had malocclusion. There was a significant correlation between class I type 2, class II div 1 and tongue thrust and mouth breathing whereas children with digit sucking showed a high correlation with class I type 2 malocclusion.

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