Journal Article

Prevalence of a posterior crossbite and sucking habits in Brazilian children aged 18–59 months

Maria Carolina Bandeira Macena, Cíntia Regina Tornisiello Katz and Aronita Rosenblatt

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 31, issue 4, pages 357-361
Published in print August 2009 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Prevalence of a posterior crossbite and sucking habits in Brazilian children aged 18–59 months

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This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the prevalence of posterior crossbites and non-nutritive sucking habits in 2750 Brazilian children aged from 18 to 59 months. The data were collected by 123 previously trained dental students and recorded on a response card according to the model developed by the Forsyth Institute, Boston, Maryland, USA, for optical reading. Information concerning sucking habits and family income was obtained during an interview with a parent or guardian. A clinical examination was also undertaken. Statistical analysis included chi-square and Fisher's exact tests.

A posterior crossbite was observed as early as 18 months of age. The prevalence of a posterior crossbite was 10.4 per cent and was associated with age (P = 0.00) and with sucking habits (P = 0.01). The prevalence of sucking habits was 43.5 per cent. A posterior crossbite was not associated with socio-economic status (P = 0.38). While sucking habits were common among the age group studied (43.5 per cent), only a small percentage exhibited a posterior crossbite. These results suggest that further investigations into other aetiological factors, in particular genetics and respiratory problems, are necessary to provide more evidence that could clarify this issue.

Journal Article.  2235 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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