International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry

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VOLUME 15 , ISSUE S2 ( Special Issue-2 (Cariology), 2022 ) > List of Articles


Association of Mothers’ Genetic Taste Perception to Eating Habits and Its Influence on Early Childhood Caries in Preschool Children: An Analytical Study

Krithi Nellamakkada, Sandya S Patil, Madhu Kakanur, Ravi S Kumar, Rachna Thakur

Keywords : Caries experience, Early childhood caries, Genetic taste perception, Preschool children, Snacking habits

Citation Information :

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-2139

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 16-03-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Aims: To examine (1) the association of mothers’ 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) sensitivity with snacking habits and caries experience of both the mother and their 2–5-year-old preschool children and (2) the association of feeding habits with caries prevalence in 2–5-year-old children. Materials and methods: In this analytical cross-sectional study, 2–5-year-old preschool children were clinically examined by a single calibrated examiner and divided into two groups of 80 children with early childhood caries (ECC) and 80 without. Mothers of the children were clinically examined and a second blinded investigator determined their genetic taste type using PROP. Data regarding feeding practices of the child and snacking habits of the mother and child were obtained using questionnaires. The data obtained were statistically analyzed. Results: Cariogenic snack consumption was more among nontaster mothers and their children (p value < 0.001). More number of children of the nontaster mothers in the ECC group were bottle-fed with sweetened beverages (n = 24) and received sweet snacks as rewards (n = 32). Caries prevalence of 73%, 20%, and 7% was seen in children of nontaster, medium taster, and supertaster mothers, respectively (p value < 0.05). Significant association was found between mother's caries activity, past bottle-feeding, receiving sweet snacks as reward and their child's caries experience. Conclusion: Mothers’ PROP sensitivity was significantly associated with snacking habits and caries experience of their children. Mothers’ PROP type could be an important factor that may determine and explain the dental caries experience in their 2–5-year-old preschool children. Clinical significance: Early identification of nontaster mothers may prove beneficial in guiding them and consecutively their children toward healthy dietary habits, leading to lesser incidence of caries and their better overall wellbeing.

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