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Spotlight on nonnutritive sucking behavior and malocclusions in December JADA

November 22, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

Nonnutritive sucking is associated with substantial risks of developing malocclusions, according to research published in the December issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

In "Establishing the Association between Nonnutritive Sucking Behavior and Malocclusions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis," which included 15 identified studies, researchers concluded that pacifiers are associated with a higher risk of developing most malocclusions compared with digit sucking, and that clinicians should inform parents and caregivers about the dental risks of nonnutritive sucking behaviors.

"A child's sucking on a pacifier or digit tends to start long before their first visit to a dentist," said Dr. Esma Doğramacı, the article's corresponding author and a lecturer in orthodontics at The University of Adelaide, Australia. "While avoidance of nonnutritive sucking behaviors doesn't totally safeguard against malocclusion development, owing to their multifactorial etiology, the risk can nevertheless be reduced. Parents and caregivers should be told about the dental risks associated with nonnutritive sucking behavior so they can make fully-informed and appropriate decisions for their young children."

The entire article can be read online.

The December issue of JADA also includes a case report discussing four cases of the successful treatment of generalized refractory chronic periodontitis through discontinuation of waxed or coated dental floss use; a Health Policy Perspective that addresses the question: "Do Dentists From Rural Areas Practice in Rural Areas?" and a meta-analysis regarding laser use in direct pulp capping.

Every month, JADA articles are published online at in advance of print publication. The entire December issue is online.