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J Dent Res. 1988 Nov;67(11):1422-9.

The effects of sugars intake and frequency of ingestion on dental caries increment in a three-year longitudinal study.

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School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2029.


A three-year longitudinal study was carried out with a group of children, initially aged 11-15, residing in non-fluoridated rural communities in south-central Michigan. This report analyzes the relation between caries increment and consumption of sugars from all sources to see if accepted relationships have changed with the caries decline in the United States. There were 499 children who provided three or more 24-hour dietary recall interviews, and who received dental examinations at baseline and after three years. Caries increment averaged 2.91 DMFS over the three years, with 81% of new lesions on pit-and-fissure surfaces. Consumption of sugars from all sources averaged 156 g per day for males and 127 g per day for females, an average of 52 kg per person per year. Sugars constituted one-quarter of total caloric intake for both boys and girls, and the average number of eating occasions per day was 4.3. Children who consumed a higher proportion of their total energy intake as sugars had a higher increment of approximal caries, though there was little relation to pit-and-fissure caries. The average number of daily eating occasions was not related to caries increment, nor was the average number of sugary snacks (defined as foods with 15% or more of sugars) consumed between meals, but the average consumption of between-meal sugars was related to the approximal caries increment. When children were categorized by high caries increment compared with no caries increment, a tendency toward more frequent snacks was seen in the high-caries children.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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