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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Breastfeeding and sucking habits in children enrolled in a mother-child health program

Teresinha Soares Pereira Lopes1*, Lúcia de Fátima Almeida de Deus Moura1 and Maria Cecília Marconi Pinheiro Lima2

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Pathology and Dental Clinic, Federal University of Piauí, 64049-161 Teresina, PI, Brazil

2 Department of Human Development and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil

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BMC Research Notes 2014, 7:362  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-362

Published: 14 June 2014



Early weaning can cause changes in posture and strength of the phonoarticulatory organs, favoring the installation of undesirable oral habits. The objective of the research was to evaluate the relationship between the practice of exclusive breastfeeding and its influence on the development of deleterious oral habits in children. This was a cross sectional observational study with 252 children of both sexes, between 30 and 48 months of age, attending a program of dental care for mothers and newborns. As an instrument of data collection was a questionnaire semistructured mothers of children with questions about the form and duration of breastfeeding and non-nutritive oral habits in children.


In this sample, 48.4% of the children were exclusively breastfed for six months; 20.2% exhibited sucking habits involving the use of a pacifier, which was more frequent among the girls. As factors associated with the decreasing of the occurrence of non-nutritive sucking habits, are a longer exclusive breastfeeding, predominant breastfeeding and breastfeeding. Children who were breastfed for six months until twelve months in an exclusive way decreased by 69.0% chances of coming to have non-nutritive sucking habits when compared with those who were breastfed up to one month.


The longer the duration of breastfeeding, that is, exclusive, predominant or breastfeeding, the lower are the chances of children develop non-nutritive sucking habits.

Breastfeeding; Habits; Stomatognathic system; Maternal-child health services