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DENTAL SCIENCE - CASE REPORT
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 296-300

Role of dietary habits and diet in caries occurrence and severity among urban adolescent school children


1 Department of Community Medicine, Meenakshi Medical College and Research Institute, University of MAHER, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Balaji Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Dentistry, Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. V C Punitha
Department of Community Medicine, Meenakshi Medical College and Research Institute, University of MAHER, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.155963

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To identify the role of dietary habits (type of diet, skipping meals, snacking in-between meals and frequency of visits to fast food restaurants) in caries occurrence and severity. To explore the correlation between frequency of intake of selected foods and dental caries. A cross-sectional study was carried out on adolescent children (n = 916) of age 13-19, following a two-stage random sampling technique. Data were collected using a pretested questionnaire. Questionnaire included demographic details, dietary habits of children and food frequency table that listed selected food items. The dependent variable-dental caries was measured using the decayed, missing, filled teeth (DMFT) index. The prevalence of dental caries in this study population was 36.7% (95% confidence interval: 33.58-39.82). The mean DMFT was 1.01 (±1.74). No statistically significant difference found between caries occurrence and type of diet (P = 0.07), skipping meals (P = 0.86), frequency of eating in fast food stalls (0.86) and snacking in between meals (0.08). Mean DMFT values were higher among nonvegetarians and among children who had the habit of snacking in between meals. Frequency of intake of selected food items showed that mean frequency intake of carbonated drinks and confectionery was higher among children who presented with caries when compared to caries-free children (P = 0.000). Significant correlation found between mean DMFT and mean frequency intake of carbonated drinks and confectionery. Odds ratios were calculated for the same for frequency ≥4 times/day for confectionery and ≥4/week for carbonated drinks and results discussed. Frequent intake of carbonated drinks and confectionery is harmful to oral health that eventually reflects on general health. Educating the adolescent children on healthy dietary habits should be put in the forefront.


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