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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2011 Jan;21(1):68-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2010.01092.x.

Effects of feeding on non-nutritive sucking habits and implications on occlusion in mixed dentition.

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Department of Dentistry, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.



Several studies have determined the effects of non-nutritive sucking habits on malocclusions, but provided conflicting results.


To analyse the influence of infant feeding In the presence of non-nutritive sucking habits in children after the first year of life and to assess the effects of non-nutritive sucking habits on occlusion in mixed dentition.


Data were collected by self-reported questionnaire and confirmed by personal interview. Parents of 1451 children (aged 7-11) were asked about their children's infant feeding and non-nutritive sucking habits. A clinical evaluation of dental arches included classification of molar relationship (Angle classification), presence or absence of crossbite and open bite.


Children with bottle or complementary feeding showed a higher risk of acquiring non-nutritive sucking habits after the first year of life (P < 0.01). Non-nutritive sucking habits are associated with a greater risk of crossbite, open bite, Class II molar relationship (P < 0.01).


Parents should be educated about benefits of the exclusive breast feeding in the first 6 months of age on mixed dentition. The activity of non-nutritive sucking should be diagnosed in a timely manner in order to reduce the development of posterior crossbite, anterior open bite, and Class II molar relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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