Objectives: To determine whether children advised by a pediatrician to take sports drinks consume them more frequently than do other children and whether these children have an increased risk of dental caries.
Methods: The subjects were 522 mother/child pairs who attended a dental checkup for 3-year-olds at one of ten community health centers in Nagasaki, Japan. Pearson's chi-square test was used to compare the prevalence of children with or without dental caries according to child-related variables. Multiple logistic regression was performed to assess the relationship between the presence of dental caries and child-related variables taken from a dental checkup and a questionnaire.
Results: A high frequency of sports drink consumption was strongly associated with dental caries in children. The highest proportion of mothers answered that they were advised by a pediatrician to give sports drinks to their children. However, these children consumed sports drinks significantly less frequently than did children who did so for reasons other than pediatrician recommendations. In addition, these children were significantly less likely to have dental caries than were children who consumed sports drinks for otherreasons.
Conclusions: Pediatrician-recommended consumption of sports drinks does not lead to more frequent consumption of these beverages or to dental caries in 3-year-old children.