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Feeding, Artificial Sucking Habits, and Malocclusions in 3-year-old Girls in Different Regions of the World

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Purpose: The way babies and young children are reared is important to their health and development. Extensive breast-feeding has also been shown to reduce the development of artificial sucking habits like digit or pacifier-sucking. The aim of this study was to determine feeding methods, artificial sucking habits, and the presence of malocclusions in 3-year-old girls living in different regions of the world.

Methods: Children from the following countries were involved in the present study: (1) Brazil (Porto Alegre); (2) Japan (Niigata); (3) Mexico (Mexico City); (4) Norway (Oslo); (5) Sweden (Falköping); (6) Turkey (Istanbul); (7) and the United States (Iowa City, Iowa). During the interview and examination, the following variables were evaluated and registered: (1) breast-feeding and bottle-feeding; (2) duration and frequency; (3) sucking habits; (4) posterior and anterior crossbites; and (5) other malocclusions/normal occlusion.

Results: The prevalence of breast-feeding was very high in all groups, ranging between 78% and 98%. The prevalence of bottle-feeding in the different areas was also high. Except for Iowa City, the prevalence of digit-sucking was relatively low. Pacifier-sucking is fairly popular in most areas, with the exception of Niigata. The prevalence of normal occlusion in different cities ranged from 38% to 98%.

Conclusions: There are considerable differences in feeding, as well as artificial sucking habits, in different areas of the world and at different periods.


Document Type: Case Report

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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