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J Clin Exp Dent. 2018 Dec 1;10(12):e1161-e1166. doi: 10.4317/jced.55284. eCollection 2018 Dec.

A sample of non-nutritive sucking habits (pacifier and digit) in portuguese children and its relation with the molar classes of angle.

Author information

Graduation. DDS, Doctoral student at the University of Barcelona. Advanced Institute of Health Sciences University (IUCS), Portugal.
MD, PhD. Professor Titular de Universidad, Faculty of Medicine and Sciences of Health. University of Barcelona.
MD, PhD. Associate Professor. Administrative positions: Director of the Dentistry School and the Director of Dentistry. Department of the IUCS (University Institute Health Sciences), Portugal.
President of the Pedagogical Council IUCS. Head of the Medical. Service and Oral Surgery. Department of Dental Sciences. Clinical Director of the Clinical Unit of CESPU (IUCS).
MD, PhD. Paediatric Dentistry, Advanced the University Institute of Health Sciences (IUCS). Portugal.
MD, PhD. Associate Professor. Vice Dean School of Dentistry. Oral Health and Masticatory System Group (Bellvitge Medical Research Institute) IDIBELL. L'Hospitalet (Barcelona) Spain.



Little is known about the effect of non-nutritive sucking habits (pacifier and digital sucking) in the prevalence of molar Class in mixed dentition. The aim of this study was determinate the relation between non-nutritive sucking habits, and Angle´s molar Class, in the horizontal plane, and it´s relation with gender. A convenience sample of 326 children with ages between 6 and 12 years was selected from three schools of Oporto.

Material and Methods:

To collect the epidemiologic data, was used a method recommended by the WHO. An indirect questionnaire about the medical history, dental habits, was used. It was adapted from Sanchez-Molins and validated by Clinical Dental III of Integrated Dental University Institute Health Sciences, Gandra, Portugal.


In this study, 326 infants were examined in order to determine the prevalence of non-nutritive sucking habits. Only 45 observed children did not mentioned any kind of non-nutritive sucking habit; the remaining 281 children mentioned at least one potential bad habit. Children with non-nutritive sucking habits show a higher molar Class II percentage in females, while molar Class III is more frequent among males compared with children with no sucking habits.


Children with non-nutritive sucking habits, presented a higher-Class II prevalence with statistically significance. It was detected a direct relationship between Angle´s molar Class and gender. Key words:Finger sucking, pacifier sucking, Angle Class malocclusion.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest statement: The author declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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