Association of parental attitudes at mealtime and snack limits with the prevalence of untreated dental caries among preschool children.
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Appetite, ISSN: 1095-8304, Vol: 108, Page: 450-455
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Eating behavior of parents exerts an influence on eating practices among their children, including the consumption of cariogenic products. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the snack limits established by parents/caregivers and the prevalence of untreated dental caries (UDC) among their children. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a representative sample of 686 children aged four and five years enrolled at public schools in the city of Curitiba, Brazil, and their parents/caregivers. The children were examined for dental caries and visible plaque. Parents/caregivers answered the Brazilian version of the Parent Mealtime Action Scale (PMAS). Data were analyzed using nonparametric tests and Poison regression analysis. The prevalence of UDC was 45.6%. The Snack Limits subscale of the PMAS was associated with a lower prevalence rate of UDC (PR: 0.83; 95%CI: 0.72-0.96), independently of the other variables. UDC was also associated with a greater prevalence of visible plaque (PR: 1.29; 95%CI: 1.08-1.54), a lower tooth brushing frequency (PR: 1.46; 95%CI: 1.22-1.77) and greater age of the child (PR: 1.31; 95%CI: 1.08-1.59). Snack limits established by parents/caregivers were associated to a lower prevalence rate of UDC among preschool children.