Is There an Impact of Social Factors and Food on Early Childhood Caries? A Cross-Sectional Study

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SAGE OPEN, vol.11, no.1, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/2158244021997413
  • Journal Name: SAGE OPEN
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: anti-cariogenic food, cariogenic food, dental caries, preschool children, social factors
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


This study aimed to investigate the impact of dietary habits on early childhood caries (ECC) in preschool children. We recruited 153 children between 30 and 71 months of age who applied to a state hospital dental clinic in Ankara, Turkey. The decayed-missing-filled teeth (dmft) index was calculated with a questionnaire that investigated the number of decayed, missing, and/or filled milk teeth. Participants formed three separate groups according to their caries history (Group 1: caries-free children, Group 2: children with ECC, Group 3: children with severe ECC [S-ECC]). The mean dmft score was 4.0 +/- 3.9, and 20.2% of children were in caries-free group (n = 31), 45.8% were in ECC group (n = 70), and 34.0% were in S-ECC group (n = 52). The carbonated beverage consumption and the dmft index score was directly proportional (p < .05). Besides, there was a significant correlation between anti-cariogenic foods such as milk and eggs and dmft index score (p < .05). S-ECC was associated with higher consumption of French fries (beta = .052; 95% Cl -0.141, 1.827) and lower consumption of egg (beta = -0.052; 95% Cl -0.103, 0.001). Consequently, the fast-food-style Western diet was closely related to tooth decay, and healthy dietary habits such as the Mediterranean-style diet may provide crucial protection against dental caries in preschool children.