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Dairy products and calcium intake during pregnancy and dental caries in children

Keiko Tanaka1*, Yoshihiro Miyake1, Satoshi Sasaki2 and Yoshio Hirota3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, 814-0180, Japan

2 Department of Social and Preventive Epidemiology, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan

3 Department of Public Health, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan

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Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:33  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-33

Published: 17 May 2012



Maternal nutrition status during pregnancy may affect fetal tooth development, formation, and mineralization, and may affect dental caries susceptibility in children. We investigated the association between maternal intake of dairy products and calcium during pregnancy and the risk of childhood dental caries.


Subjects were 315 Japanese mother-child pairs. Data on maternal intake during pregnancy were assessed through a diet history questionnaire. Outcome data was collected at 41–50 months of age. Children were classified as having dental caries if one or more primary teeth had decayed or been filled.


Higher maternal cheese intake during pregnancy was significantly inversely associated with the risk of dental caries in children, showing a clear inverse dose–response relationship; the adjusted odds ratio (OR) in comparison of the highest tertile with the lowest was 0.37 (95 % confidence interval [CI]: 0.17-0.76, P for trend = 0.01). The inverse associations between maternal intake of total dairy products, yogurt, and calcium during pregnancy and the risk of childhood dental caries were of borderline significance: the adjusted ORs for the highest tertile of total dairy products, yogurt, and calcium were 0.51 (95 % CI: 0.23-1.09, P for trend = 0.07), 0.51 (95 % CI: 0.23-1.10, P for trend = 0.07), and 0.50 (95 % CI: 0.23-1.07, P for trend = 0.08), respectively. There was no evident relationship between maternal milk intake and the risk of childhood dental caries.


These data suggested that high intake of maternal cheese during pregnancy may reduce the risk of childhood dental caries.

Calcium; Dairy products; Dental caries; Prospective study