According to the study of 135 Finnish youngsters, eating habits at age three can help predict whether or not he or she will have a mouthful of cavities by the time they are age six, researchers report.
Those toddlers who consumed candy and juice more than once a week at age three and who also had tarter (bacteria-containing plaque) on the teeth, were nearly twice as likely to have cavities by the age of 6, compared with their peers who ate sweets no more than once a week, findings show.
Tooth brushing habits did not differ between children who developed cavities and those who remained cavity-free. The results support the idea that despite improvements in dental health due to better oral hygiene and the widespread use of fluoride, sugar consumption is still a major risk factor for cavities in children.
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