Evaluation of The Relationship between Children’s Eating Behavior and Early Childhood Caries in Children Aged 3 to 6 Years
Background: Eating behavior in childhood was implicated in developing the dental caries. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effect of problematic eating behavior and its association to early childhood caries (ECC) among 3-6 years-old children.
Material and methods: This study was performed on 52 children with ECC (case group) and 53 children without ECC (control group). Clinical examination of children was performed to determine the caries indices. Subsequently, the parents of children in both groups were requested to complete the Children’s Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ). The statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 24. P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: The mean age of subjects in this study was 4.82 ± 1.05 years. The results showed that the food responsiveness, enjoyment of food, emotional overeating, satiety responsiveness, slowness in eating, emotional undereating, and food fussiness were not significantly different between two groups with ECC and without ECC. Furthermore, based on the results, the desire for sugary drinks in two groups was significantly different (P=0.002) as the tendency for sugary drinks was higher in ECC group. There was a significant relationship between the dmft (r=0.33, p<0.001) and dmfs (r=0.35, p<0.001) indices and the desire for sugary drinks.
Conclusion: The present study showed that the desire for a drink could be implicated in the development of early childhood caries.