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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of nonnutritive sucking habits on occlusal characteristics in the mixed dentition.

PURPOSE: Little is known about the extent to which nonnutritive sucking habits contribute to malocclusion in the mixed dentition. The purpose of this study was to report on the relationship between certain occlusal traits in the mixed dentition and longitudinal sucking behaviors. METHODS: Dental examinations were conducted on 630 children in the mixed dentition who participated in a large, ongoing longitudinal study. Five hundred eighty consented to impressions, and 524 adequate study models were obtained. Of these, 444 also had adequate longitudinal nonnutritive sucking data obtained via mailed questionnaires to parents at 3- to 6-month intervals from birth to 8 years. Sucking behaviors were grouped by predominant type and duration. Study models were hand articulated using wax bites to evaluate the occlusion for the presence of open bite, crossbite, molar relationship, and excessive overjet. Bivariate statistical analyses related presence of these malocclusions to sucking duration and type. RESULTS: Fifty-five percent of the children had malocclusions (anterior open bite, posterior crossbite, bilateral Class II molar relationship, or overjet >4 mm). Class II molar relationship was most common (30%). Overall, anterior open bite and posterior crossbite was associated with habits of 36 months or more. Sustained pacifier habits, including those of 24 to 47 months, were associated with anterior open bite and Class II molar relationships, while digit habits were associated with anterior open bite when sustained for 60 months or longer. CONCLUSIONS: Malocclusions are quite prevalent in the mixed dentition, and anterior open bite and posterior crossbite may be preventable by modifying nonnutritive sucking behaviors.[1]


  1. Effects of nonnutritive sucking habits on occlusal characteristics in the mixed dentition. Warren, J.J., Slayton, R.L., Bishara, S.E., Levy, S.M., Yonezu, T., Kanellis, M.J. Pediatric dentistry. (2005) [Pubmed]
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