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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Association of breastfeeding and three-dimensional dental arch relationships in primary dentition

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Fung Hou Kumoi Mineaki Howard Sum, Linkun Zhang, Hiu Tung Bonnie Ling, Cindy Po Wan Yeung, Kar Yan Li, Hai Ming Wong, Yanqi Yang
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12903-015-0010-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Fung Hou Kumoi Mineaki Howard Sum and Linkun Zhang contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

FHKMHS: Examination form design, Data analysis, write-up of the manuscript. LZ: Examination form design, Questionnaire design, Examination arrangement. HTBL: Questionnaire design. CPWY: Examination arrangement, data input. KYL: Data analysis. HMW: Questionnaire design. YY: Study design and organization, calibration for the examiner, write-up of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



The benefits of breastfeeding on oral health are still inconclusive, especially the association on occlusion. This study aimed to investigate the association of breastfeeding and the development of primary dentition.


A cross-sectional study was conducted with 851 Asian children aged 2–5 years old in Hong Kong. Questionnaires were completed by the parents to collect information on breastfeeding and the non-nutritive sucking habits. The children’s dental arch relationships were examined in the sagittal, vertical, and transverse dimensions by an experienced examiner.


Children who experienced pure breastfeeding for more than 6 months had a lower chance of developing a class II incisal relationship (P < 0.05) or an increased overjet (P < 0.05), and had wider intercanine (P < 0.05) and intermolar widths (P < 0.05). Vertically, no association on the extent of overbite or openbite was found (P >0.05).


Pure breastfeeding for more than 6 months is positively associated with primary dental arch development in the anterior sagittal dental segment and on the horizontal arch width in primary dentition. Therefore, pure breastfeeding for more than 6 months is recommended, as it is associated with lower chance of the development of abnormal dental relationships. The results will be valuable for education and promotion of maternal breastfeeding.
Additional file 1: Oral Health Related Habits Questionnaire. Questionnaires completed by the parents to collect information on the children’s duration of full-time breastfeeding, history of non-nutritive sucking habits (thumb sucking and pacifier use), as well as the family social economic status including their income and family background.
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