Revista de Odontologia da UNESP
Revista de Odontologia da UNESP
Original Article

Timing of sugar introduction in diet and early childhood caries: a population-based study in preschoolers

Momento de introdução de açúcar na dieta e cárie na primeira infância: um estudo de base populacional em pré-escolares

Guilherme Nilson ALVES DOS SANTOS; Cacilda Castelo Branco LIMA; Ananda Souza PEREIRA; Marina de Deus Moura LIMA; Lúcia de Fátima Almeida de Deus MOURA; Marcoeli Silva de MOURA

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Abstract: Introduction: Sugar ingestion is the most important isolated factor related to dental caries. Contact with sugary foods at an early age may represent a risk to the oral health of preschool children.

Objective: To evaluate the timing of the introduction of sugar in the diet of preschoolers and its association with early childhood caries.

Material and method: Cross-sectional population-based study with 888 five-year-old preschoolers from public and private schools. Parents answered a questionnaire on sociodemographic data, eating habits and oral health. The variables timing of sugar introduction (>1 year and ≤1 year) and dental caries experience were dichotomized and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Poisson regression (p<0.05).

Result: The introduction of sugar in the diet occurred during the first twelve months of life for 73.8% of preschoolers. There was no association between the timing of sugar introduction and early childhood caries (p>0.05). The interruption of exclusive breastfeeding and low family income increased the prevalence of preschoolers having early contact with sugar by 32% and 23%, respectively (p<0.05). The prevalence of early childhood caries was 42.3% and was associated with a lower level of maternal education, low income, increased frequency of ingestion of candy and the use of nonfluoridated toothpaste (p<0.05).

Conclusion: The introduction of sugar in the diet occurred during the first year of life in most preschoolers and there was no association with early childhood caries.


Sugars, diet, dental caries, child


Resumo: Introdução: A ingestão de açúcar é um importante fator relacionado à cárie dentária. O contato com alimentos açucarados em idade precoce pode representar risco para a saúde bucal de crianças em idade pré-escolar.

Objetivo: Avaliar o momento de introdução do açúcar na dieta de pré-escolares e sua associação com a cárie na primeira infância.

Material e método: Estudo transversal de base populacional com 888 pré-escolares de cinco anos de escolas públicas e privadas. Os pais responderam questionário sobre dados sociodemográficos, hábitos alimentares e saúde bucal. As variáveis ​​tempo de introdução do açúcar (> 1 ano e ≤1 ano) e experiência de cárie dentária foram dicotomizadas e os dados foram analisados ​​por meio de estatística descritiva e regressão de Poisson (p <0,05).

Resultado: A introdução do açúcar na dieta ocorreu nos primeiros doze meses de vida para 73,8% dos pré-escolares. Não houve associação entre o momento de introdução do açúcar e a cárie na primeira infância (p> 0,05). A interrupção do aleitamento materno exclusivo e a baixa renda familiar aumentaram a prevalência de pré-escolares com contato precoce com açúcar em 32% e 23%, respectivamente (p <0,05). A prevalência de cárie na primeira infância foi de 42,3% e esteve associada à menor escolaridade materna, baixa renda, maior frequência de ingestão de doces e uso de dentifrício não fluoretado (p <0,05).

Conclusão: A introdução de açúcar na dieta ocorreu durante o primeiro ano de vida na maioria dos pré-escolares e não houve associação com cárie na primeira infância.


Açúcares, dieta, cárie dentária, criança


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