Prevalence of Oral Habits and its Association with Malocclusion in Primary Dentition among School Going Children of Nepal

J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2022 Jan 1;46(1):44-50. doi: 10.17796/1053-4625-46.1.8.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to: (1) study the prevalence of oral habits among school going children with primary dentition; (2) determine the association of oral habits with malocclusion in primary dentition; and (3) compare the prevalence of oral habits based on gender, race, age and grade.

Study design: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted among 625 school going children with a complete set of primary dentitions. A closed-ended questionnaire was developed to gather information about oral habits followed by clinical examination.

Results: The prevalence of oral habits was 42.7%. Finger nail biting (19.5%) was the most prevalent oral habit, whereas self-destructive oral habits (0.7%) were the least prevalent. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed significant association of (P<0.05): digit sucking habit with distal step molar relationship, class II canine relationship and increased overjet; pacifier sucking habit with presence of distal step molar relationship, class II canine relationship, crossbite and increased overjet; and finger nail biting habit with absence of primate spaces.

Conclusions: Nearly half of the participating children indulged in one or more oral habits. There was significant association between some oral habits and malocclusion traits, indicating the requirement of timely screening and interception.

Keywords: Malocclusion; Oral habits; Primary dentition stage.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Malocclusion* / epidemiology
  • Nepal / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Schools
  • Tooth, Deciduous