Relationship between dietary intake and dental caries in preschool children

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2010 Jun;80(3):205-15. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000022.


This study assessed the relationship between intake of nutrients and dental caries in preschool children. One hundred and eighty-two children aged three to six years were recruited from nine day care centers in central Taiwan. These children had an oral health examination, and their parents or guardians answered a questionnaire. Each child's intake of nutrients was estimated using the 24-hour dietary recall and food frequency questionnaire data. Logistic regression analysis was applied to assess the associations between dental caries and intake of each nutrient or food group, with adjustment for potential confounders. The prevalence of dental caries was 73 % and increased with age. Not being a first-born and having more between-meal snacks were associated with increased caries risk. After controlling for other important factors, vitamin A intake was significantly associated with fewer dental caries (deft, decayed, indicated for extraction, and filled primary teeth: ≥ 4 vs. < 4), with an odds ratio of 0.97 (95 % confidence interval: 0.94 - 0.99) for an 100-μg increase in vitamin A intake. There was no significant association between dental caries and energy, macronutrient intake, and Ca/P ratio, respectively. Vegetable intake was also significantly associated with lower dental caries score.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Birth Order
  • Child
  • Child Day Care Centers
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Diagnosis, Oral
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Health
  • Parents
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Vegetables
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage


  • Vitamin A