Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Dept. of Pedodontics, School of Dentistry, Khorasgan Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Dentist, Private practice, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

 Statement of Problem: Complications due to the prematurity may affect the infant’s development and feeding pattern.  Improper feeding practices carry a risk of developing dental caries in pre-term and low birth weight children (PLBW).Purpose: The aims of this study were to determine and compare the prevalence of caries in 3-4 year old PLBW children in comparison with normal birth weight children (NBW), and to evaluate the impact of dietary habits on the development of dental caries in primary teeth. Materials and Method: A cross-sectional study including dental examination and questionnaire survey was carried out at a number of clinics in Isfahan, Iran. For this study, 100 children, 42 girls and 58 boys with the mean age of 40.5 ± 4.25 months were randomly selected. Clinical examinations were carried out to determine dmft. Informations regarding birth weight, pregnancy period, age, gender and feeding habits were drawn from questionnaires. The data were analyzed by Mann-Whitney and Chi-square test. Results: The mean dmft was found to be 4.23 ± 3.97. PLBW children with a mean dmft of  5.59 ± 4.05 had a significantly higher dmft over NBW children (3.27 ± 3.85) p < 0.05. Breast feeding, duration of breast feeding, and number of meals and snacks per day were significantly greater in NBW children p < 0.05. The PLBW children were significantly more likely to eat sugar and use bottle than NBW children.Conclusion: A clear relationship exists between dietary habits and PLBW children. Targeted infant feeding programs and education with regard to dental hygiene is of great importance to avoid dental caries in PLBW children.Key words: Food Habits, Caries, Infant, Low birth weight