Trajectories of Sugar Consumption and Dental Caries in Early Childhood

M. S. Echeverria, H. S. Schuch, M. S. Cenci, J. V.S. Motta, A. D. Bertoldi, P. C. Hallal, F. F. Demarco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study verifies the association between the trajectory of sugar consumption and dental caries in the 2015 Pelotas Birth Cohort in Pelotas, Brazil. It was conducted with data from the follow-ups at 3, 12, 24, and 48 mo from the 2015 Birth Cohort, which included 4,275 children born alive in hospitals in Pelotas. Data collection included standardized questionnaires for first caregivers applied by trained interviewers at all follow-ups. Exposure was the trajectory of sugar consumption from 3 to 48 mo (always low, always intermediate, increasing, and always high), obtained by group-based trajectory modeling. The outcome of this study was dental caries, obtained through clinical examination performed by calibrated dentists at 48 mo of age. Socioeconomic conditions and oral health instruction from a health professional during the first 4 y of life were included in the analysis as potential confounders. Prevalence ratios and their 95% confidence intervals were provided from generalized estimating equations with a log-Poisson with robust variance specification. In total, 3,654 (91.1%) children participated in the survey at 48 mo, and 2,806 children had complete data for the analyzes performed. Of these, 1,012 (36.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 34.3–37.8) experienced caries, and 723 (25.8%; 95% CI, 24.2–27.4) had cavitated caries. Regarding cavitated caries, the prevalence was 1.48 times higher in the group with increasing sugar consumption than children with always low consumption. There is an association between the trajectory of sugar consumption and dental caries at 48 mo. Children with increasing and always high sugar consumption have the highest prevalence of caries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-730
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • child
  • cohort studies
  • community dentistry
  • dietary sugars
  • health risk behaviors
  • sugars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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