The Influence of Diet, Exercise and Education Level During Pregnancy on Child Cavities and Tooth Eruption
Dental Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research
Objectives: This study's objective was to evaluate if exercise during pregnancy, a healthy diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and calcium, and the mother's educational level influenced the dental health measures of caries risk and tooth eruption of their offspring. Methods: Women with children 6 years and younger completed questionnaires regarding PA and diet (PUFA-rich, calcium-rich (Ca) dairy foods) during pregnancy and education level prior to their child's dental examination. T-tests
... ere used to compare exercisers and non-exercisers; correlation and regression analyses were conducted to determine relationships and predictors of child dental health, respectively. Results: Eighty-two mother-child pairs were analysed. Exercisers had trends of increased PUFA (p=0.07) and Ca-rich dairy foods (p=0.12) to non-exercisers during pregnancy. Ca-rich dairy foods during pregnancy had positive associations with primary tooth count (p=0.004), mixed surface count (p=0.02), and tooth eruption (p=0.04). Controlling for maternal education and exercise, tooth eruption was predicted by PUFA summary and cheese consumption while dairy summary predicted primary tooth count; caries risk was predicted by maternal education; primary surface caries was associated with exercise duration. Conclusion: During pregnancy, calcium-rich dairy and PUFA-rich foods influenced child tooth eruption and thus tooth count, while exercise duration was associated with primary surface caries. Maternal education was associated with lower caries risk. Our findings support educating women on calcium intake and appropriate exercise levels during pregnancy, plus oral health counseling for their child.