Objectives: To determine whether early diet and weight gain velocity have independent or interactive effects on deciduous teeth emergence and overweight status during the first year.
Study design: Monthly measures of anthropometry and teeth eruption were collected during a 1-year trial (0.5-12.5 months) on formula-fed infants in which the type of randomized infant formula (cow milk or extensively hydrolyzed protein) diet significantly affected early (0.5-4.5 months) weight gain velocity. Generalized linear mixed models determined whether early diet and weight gain velocity had independent or interactive effects on timing and pattern of teeth eruption. Data from a trial on breastfed infants were used to explore effects of breast milk vs infant formula diets on teeth eruption and overweight status at 10.5 months.
Results: Independent of infant formula diet, velocities of weight gain had direct effects on the age of first deciduous tooth (P < .04) and number of erupted teeth over time (P < .002). Greater velocity of weight gain from 0.5 to 4.5 months caused earlier and more frequent eruption of deciduous teeth from 4.5 to 12.5 months. Exploratory follow-up analyses on the breastfed and formula-fed diet groups found early weight gain velocity (P = .001), but not diet or its interaction, had significant effects. Infants in the upper quartile for weight gain velocity had more primary teeth (P = .002), and a greater proportion of them were overweight (P < .001) at 10.5 months.
Conclusions: Faster weight gain accretion forecasted accelerated primary teeth eruption and increased percentage of children who were overweight-risk factors for dental caries and obesity.
Keywords: breast milk; deciduous teeth; developmental milestones; diet; infant formula; overweight status; weight gain velocity.
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