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Bull Tokyo Dent Coll. 2008 May;49(2):59-63.

Longitudinal study on influence of prolonged non-nutritive sucking habits on dental caries in Japanese children from 1.5 to 3 years of age.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Tokyo Dental College, Chiba, Japan. tayonezu@tdc.ac.jp

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between infant sucking habits and the prevalence of caries in Japanese preschool children.The study was designed as a prospective, longitudinal study starting with 592 children aged 18 months. Information on sucking habits and patterns of feeding was collected from parents in the form of a questionnaire. Children who continued breastor bottle-feeding at 18 months of age were eliminated prior to the evaluations. The children were divided into 3 groups according to their sucking habits at 18 months of age: Group 1: children with a finger-sucking habit (n=151); Group 2: children who used a pacifier (n=45) and Group 3: children with no oral habit (n=205). Clinical examinations were carried out by one of the authors.Mean dft and prevalence of caries were not statistically significant among the 3 groups at 18 months of age. However, only 10.6% of the children in Group 1 exhibited caries at 36 months of age, compared with 17.1% in Group 3 and 24.4% in Group 2. Group 1 children showed the smallest mean dft at 0.30 among the 3 groups at 36 months of age, and those in Group 2 showed 1.18; the difference was statistically significant (p<0.01).The results suggest that children with a finger-sucking habit are more likely to be free of caries by the age of 3. However, use of pacifier at 18 months of age is a potential risk factor for the development of dental caries in children.

PMID:
18776717
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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