Intake of dairy products and the prevalence of dental caries in young children.
J Dent. 2010 Jul;38(7):579-83. Epub 2010 Apr 28. PMID: 20433890
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan. email@example.com
OBJECTIVES: In vitro studies show that milk or milk components may have cariostatic properties. However, the results of epidemiological studies on the association between intake of dairy products and dental caries have been inconsistent. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the association between intake of dairy products and the prevalence of dental caries in young children. METHODS: Study subjects were 2058 Japanese children aged 3 years. Information on diet was assessed with a self-administered brief diet history questionnaire for children. The consumption of dairy products was categorized into 3 levels in order to represent the tertiles as closely as possible. Dental caries was assessed by a visual examination. Adjustment was made for sex, toothbrushing frequency, use of fluoride, between-meal snack frequency, maternal smoking during pregnancy, environmental tobacco smoke exposure at home, and paternal and maternal educational levels. RESULTS: Compared with yogurt consumption at the lowest tertile (<1 time/week), its intake at the highest level (>or =4 times/week) was significantly associated with a lower prevalence of dental caries, showing a clear dose-response relationship (adjusted prevalence ratio=0.78, 95% confidence interval: 0.62-0.98, P for trend=0.04). There were no material associations between intake of cheese, bread and butter, or milk and the prevalence of dental caries. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that a high consumption of yogurt may be associated with a lower prevalence of dental caries in young children.