Send to

Choose Destination
J Dent Child (Chic). 2006 May-Aug;73(2):98-104.

Child temperament and risk factors for early childhood caries.

Author information

College of Dentistry, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between a mother's perception of her child's temperament and the child's risk factors for early childhood caries (ECC).


Data was collected from 629 records of children ages 0 to 4 who were patients of the University of Iowa's Infant Oral Health Program. Data included: (1) maternal report of child's temperament; (2) knowledge of ECC; (3) dietary and oral hygiene habits; and (4) clinical evidence of cavitated and noncavitated lesions and visible plaque on maxillary incisors. Chi-square tests and logistic regression models were used to analyze the data.


Bivariate analyses showed that children reported as "easy" were more likely to: (1) be younger (P=.001); (2) be breast-fed to sleep (P=.046); (3) be breast-fed throughout the night (P=.012); and (4) have their teeth brushed twice daily (P=.006). Children reported as "difficult" were more likely to: (1) be bottle-fed to sleep (P=.002); and (2) have noncavitated lesions (P=.044). Final logistic regression analysis indicated that children perceived as "easy" were more likely to breast-fed throughout the night (odds ratio [OR]= 1.77; P=.016), while those perceived as "difficult" were more likely to be bottle-fed to sleep (OR=1.74; P=.016).


Maternal reported child temperament may be related to important early childhood caries risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Ingenta plc
Loading ...
Support Center