Association of environmental tobacco smoke and snacking habits with the risk of early childhood caries among 3-year-old Japanese children

J Public Health Dent. 2015 Spring;75(2):157-62. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12085. Epub 2015 Feb 6.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the association of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and other risk factors with early childhood caries (ECC) in 3-year-old Japanese children by a cross-sectional study.

Methods: Study subjects were 1,801 children aged 3 years old. The self-administered questionnaire was completed by parents or guardians of the children. The survey contents included such things as if there was a smoker in the home, snack times, the kinds of snacks consumed more than or equal to four times a week, the kinds of drinks consumed more than or equal to four times a week, parents brushing their child's teeth daily, and the use of fluoride toothpaste. We obtained the number of decayed, missing, or filled teeth per person (dmft) from the dental examinations. Logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate odds ratio of ECC.

Results: The average number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft index) was 1.00. The prevalence of dental caries was 22.4 percent. There was at least one smoker in the homes of 1,121 subjects (62.2 percent). After excluding items of multicollinearity, the results of multivariate analysis were as follows: drinking or eating sweets after dinner, irregular snack times, frequent intake of chocolate, frequent intake of sugar-sweetened gum, frequent intake of isotonic drink, and maternal smoking were significantly associated with the risk of ECC.

Conclusions: This study suggests that there is a significant correlation between ETS from family members and snacking habits and ECC.

Keywords: early childhood caries; environmental tobacco smoke; snacking habits.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Eating*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution