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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2000 Mar;10(1):47-55.

The relationships between dietary guidelines, sugar intake and caries in primary teeth in low income Brazilian 3-year-olds: a longitudinal study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.



To investigate the effects of dietary guidelines on sugar and sugar intake at day nurseries, and other potential risk factors on dental caries in two groups of low socio-economic nursery schoolchildren.


Nursery based, longitudinal study.


Metropolitan area of Recife, north-eastern Brazil.


The study population comprised 510, 3-year-old low socio-economic nursery schoolchildren. Sugar intake at the nursery was based upon a weighed inventory method during 2 non-consecutive days. Parents answered a questionnaire.


Children attending nurseries not adopting guidelines on reduction of sugar intake had a higher caries risk, with an odds ratio of 3.6 compared to those attending nurseries with guidelines. A higher caries increment was related to higher daily frequency and weight of sugar intake at nursery, overall daily frequency of sugar intake (sugar intake at home plus nursery), past caries experience, use of fluoride, and habits related to toothbrushing. Children having more than 32.6 g of sugar daily at nursery were 2.99 times more likely to have high caries increment than those having less than that amount.


Sugar intake at nursery and the adoption of guidelines on sugar were associated with lower caries increment in low income nursery schoolchildren. A number of modifiable factors such as a higher daily frequency and weight of sugar intake at nursery, use of fluoride and habits related to toothbrushing were strongly related to caries increment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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