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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


LEITE-CAVALCANTI, Alessandro; MEDEIROS-BEZERRA, Priscila K.  and  MOURA, Cristiano. Breast-feeding, bottle-feeding, sucking habits and malocclusion in brazilian preschool children. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2007, vol.9, n.2, pp.194-204. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective This study was aimed at verifying the prevalence of nutritive (breast-feeding and bottle-feeding) and non-nutritive sucking habits and the presence of malocclusion in Brazilian preschool children. Material and Methods The study was a cross-sectional oral health survey of 342 children (196 boys and 146 girls) between the ages of 3 and 5 in Campina Grande, Brazil. The data was collected by interviews with the children's mothers or minders and by clinical examinations carried out by a calibrated examiner (kappa = 0,86). Descriptive statistics using the EPI-INFO Program (version 3.3) and Chi-square test at 0.05 probability level were produced. Results Sucking habit prevalence was very high in all groups, ranging from 70 % to 77,4 %. Malocclusion was present in 87 %, dummy use in 84,8 % and finger-sucking in 7,2 %. About 84,2 % of the children had a history of bottle-feeding and 79,9 % showed some evidence of malocclusion at the time of dental examination. There were significant differences for the following variables: sucking habits and malocclusion; breast-feeding time and sucking habits; breast-feeding time and malocclusion; type of feeding and sucking habits; and type of feeding and malocclusion. Conclusion Dummy-sucking incidence was higher than that of finger-sucking in Brazilian children. Sucking habit incidence was higher in bottle-fed children than in breast-fed children. The relationship between incidence of habits and malocclusion was statistically significant.

Keywords : Epidemiology; breast-feeding; malocclusion; child.

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