Scripties UMCG - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
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Early feeding habits in relation to oral health in children – a systematic review

(2017) Peters, A.J.F.

Background Type of feeding during the first period of a child’s life can play an important role in the development of their oral health. The aim of this review was to give an update of available literature on the influence of breast- and bottle-feeding on the development of caries, erosion and the occlusion in children.
Methods PubMed was searched for relevant studies published until December 2016. All studies including data on breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding and their influence on the development of caries, erosion and the occlusion, were included. Two independent reviewers assessed the studies’ eligibility and quality, and extracted data from the included studies. Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for Assessing the Quality of Nonrandomized Studies in Meta-Analyses was used for quality assessment.
Results At the end of the screening process, 30 studies remained for inclusion: 20 considering caries, 1 considering erosion, and 9 considering occlusion in relation to breast- and bottle-feeding. Breastfeeding was found to have a protective effect on development of caries, but early weaning (<3 months) and prolonged breastfeeding (>24 months) were associated with higher caries experience. In addition, bottle-feeding was found to be associated with higher caries experience. Children who were weaned at an early age (<12 months) were more affected by erosion than those weaned at a later age. Breastfeeding was found to lead to normal occlusion more often than bottle-feeding. Occlusal parameters more commonly found in bottle-fed children included terminal planes that do not favour correct occlusion, unfavourable intercanine and intermolar diameters, posterior cross bite development and open bite. The quality scores of included studies showed high variety.
Conclusion Results indicate that breastfeeding has a protective effect on caries experience, reduces the risk of developing erosion and more often leads to normal occlusion compared to bottle-feeding. Further research is recommended to strengthen the evidence.

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