The Influence of Diet, Exercise and Education Level During Pregnancy on Child Cavities and Tooth Eruption

The Influence of Diet, Exercise and Education Level During Pregnancy on Child Cavities and Tooth Eruption

Author Info

Corresponding Author
Linda E May
Department of Foundational Sciences and Research, School of Dental Medicine, ECU, Greenville, North Carolina, USA


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 were 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.

Article Info

Article Type
Research Article
Publication history
Received: Mon 10, May 2021
Accepted: Mon 24, May 2021
Published: Mon 07, Jun 2021
© 2021 Linda E May. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.31487/j.DOBCR.2021.02.07