Comparison of the intakes of sugars by young children with and without dental caries experience

Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry, N-335, Dental Science Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1010, USA.
Journal of the American Dental Association (1939) (Impact Factor: 2.01). 02/2007; 138(1):39-46. DOI: 10.14219/jada.archive.2007.0019
Source: PubMed


Relationships among sugars and dental caries in contemporary societies are unclear. The authors describe young children's intakes of nonmilk extrinsic (NME) and intrinsic/milk sugars and relate those intakes to dental caries.
The authors conducted cross-sectional analyses of dietary data collected from the Iowa Fluoride Study using three-day diaries for subjects at ages 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years and for subjects aged 1 through 5 years according to dental caries experience at 4.5 to 6.9 years of age. They categorized foods and beverages as containing NME or intrinsic/milk sugars.
Subjects' total, NME, food NME and intrinsic/milk sugars intakes at ages studied did not differ between subjects with and without caries experience. Beverage NME sugars intakes at age 3 years predicted caries (P < .05) in logistic regression models adjusted for age at dental examination and for fluoride intake.
Dental caries is a complex, multifactorial disease process dependent on the presence of oral bacteria, a fermentable carbohydrate substrate and host enamel. A simple NME-intrinsic/milk sugars categorization appears insufficient to capture the complex dietary component of the caries process.
Cariogenicity is more likely a function of the food and/or beverage vehicle delivering the sugar and the nature of exposure-that is, frequency and length of eating events-than of the sugar's categorization.

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    • "This reduces the chances of dental caries and helps the parents to brush their child's teeth prior going to bed. It is found helpful in breaking the habit of using a feeding bottle which is usually advocated for children up to 12 months of age (Marshall et al., 2007). Most of the mothers preferred to continue breastfeeding from twelve to twenty four months of child age while only few mothers stopped breastfeeding after six months. "
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