The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of feeding practices with dental caries in a group of
respondents of 1-18 years of age of Lucknow city, India.
A case-control study was carried out in the outpatient department of Paedodontics and
Preventive Dental Clinic, Saraswati Dental College and Hospital, Lucknow (UP), India. A total sample of 800 subjects in the 1-
18 years age group was equally divided among cases (DMFT/deft>0) and controls (DMFT/deft = 0). Cases matched with
controls for age, sex and religion. Clinical examination (DMFT /deft index) was performed in accordance with the WHO
criteria for epidemiological studies. Respondents were interviewed in depth and retrospectively by means of a self-
Prolonged breast feeding beyond 6 months, bottle feeding, nocturnal bottle feeding containing sweet drink and
milk and higher frequency of consumption of sweets emerged as significant risk factors for dental caries.
Based on the differences between the caries and non-caries age groups, an educational and preventive programme should
be initiated addressing the associated risk factors of specific age groups accordingly. In our present study nocturnal bottle
feeding emerged as the most significant risk factor for dental caries in the 1-6 years age group. Hence health professionals
should recognise the benefits of breastfeeding up to six months of life and should educate mothers about the importance of
implementing beneficial dental habits to ensure that a child reaches oral health.
Vol.14 – n.1/2013
Harvard: R. Bahuguna, S. Younis Khan, A. Jain (2013) "Influence of feeding practices on dental caries. A case-control study", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 14(1), pp55-58. doi:
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