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Early childhood tooth decay, breastfeeding unrelated

A recent study in Pediatrics, the journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that neither breastfeeding nor its duration is associated with increased risk of early childhood dental decay.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry, the New York University School of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It evaluated data from more than 1,500 children ages 2 to 5 who participated in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a cross-sectional health evaluation conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

In the study, Mexican American children had the highest levels of early childhood decay at 41.9 percent and severe decay at nearly 18 percent. Lower family income and maternal smoking were also cited as risk factors for decay in primary teeth.

The authors emphasized the need to target children living in poverty, Mexican American children and those whose mothers smoke or smoked during pregnancy for decay risk assessment and regular preventive dental care.

For more information about the study, visit the “Science in the News” feature on the American Dental Association Web site at "www.ada.org/goto/sciencenews". Additional information about diet and oral health is also available on the ADA Web site by visiting "www.ada.org".

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

10/29/07

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