Chewing performance and bite force in children


  • Alexandre Durval Lemos State University of Paraíba
  • Flávia Riqueto Gambareli State University of Campinas
  • Marcia Diaz Serra State University of Campinas
  • Rafael de Liz Pocztaruk Dental School of ULBRA-SOBRACID
  • Maria Beatriz Duarte Gavião State University of Campinas



Mastication. Muscle strength. Mixed dentition. Dental arch. Children


The aim was to correlate the chewing performance and maximum bite force in children, considering the morphologic characteristics of occlusion and body mass index (BMI). Thirty-six children participated (19 girls and 17 boys, mean age 9.06 years). The occlusal characteristics were evaluated by intra-oral examination. Body weight (kg) and height (m) were assessed using a balance with anthropometrical scale, and BMI determined (kg/m2 ). For chewing performance the children chewed a round silicone tablet (5 mm thick and 15 mm in diameter, 1.2 g ±0.005 g) with 20 strokes. The particle sizes were analyzed by a software. The bite force was determined with a pressurized rubber tube connected to a sensor element. There was no difference between genders in all variables. Bite force correlated negatively with particles sizes (p<0.001), meaning that high bite forces implicated in better chewing performance, and was weakly correlated with BMI (r=0.410, p<0.05). Children with different molar and canine relationship did not show differences among the variables. It was concluded that chewing performance depended on the maximum bite force, but other factors like the number and area of occlusal contacts, the amount of lateral excursion during mastication and dentition phase also may play a role. The occlusal characteristics did not influence the chewing measurements, whereas body size had a relationship with bite force.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Alexandre Durval Lemos, State University of Paraíba

Possui graduação pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (1996). É especialista em Ortopedia Funcional dos Maxilares pelo CFO (2002). Possui mestrado em Odontologia (área de concentração em Fisiologia Oral) pela Universidade Estadual de Campinas FOP-UNICAMP (2002). Doutor em Odontologia com área de concentração em Odontopediatria pela FOP-UPE (2013). Atualmente é Professor-Adjunto A da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba. Tem experiência na área de Odontologia, com ênfase em Odontopediatria, Ortopedia Funcional dos Maxilares e Reabilitação Neuroclusal, atuando principalmente nos seguintes temas: eficiência mastigatória, força de mordida, disfunção temporomandibular, perfil mastigatório e oclusão.

Flávia Riqueto Gambareli, State University of Campinas

graduate at Faculdade de Odontologia de Piracicaba from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (2001) and master's at Pós-Graduação em Odontologia from Faculdade de Odontologia de Piracicaba (2006). Has experience in Odontology, focusing on Odontology, acting on the following subjects: prótese parcial removível, perda precoce de dentes decíduos, crianças, odontopediatria and disfunção temporormandibular.

Marcia Diaz Serra, State University of Campinas

Possui graduação em Odontologia pela Universidade Estadual de Campinas(2002) e mestrado em Odontologia pela Universidade Estadual de Campinas(2006). Tem experiência na área de Odontologia. Atuando principalmente nos seguintes temas:dentição mista, perda precoce, ultrasonografia, força de mordida, músculo masseter e músculo temporal.

Rafael de Liz Pocztaruk, Dental School of ULBRA-SOBRACID

has graduation at Odontologia by Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (2002) , graduation at ESTÁGIO NO EXTERIOR by Dr Palm Panek And Billups S Office (2001) , master's at Odontologia by Universidade Luterana do Brasil (2006) , Ph.D. at Odontologia by Universidade Luterana do Brasil (2009) and aperfeicoamento at EXTENSÃO NA PRÓTESE VII E VIII SOBRE IMPLANTES by Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (2004) . Currently is Professor of Centro de Estudos e Aperfeiçoamento Em Odontologia e Professor of Universidade Luterana do Brasil Sociedade Brasileira dos Cirurgiões Dentist. Has experience in the area of Odontology , with emphasis on Prótese Dentária. Focused, mainly, in the subjects: fisiologia oral, movimentos mandibulares, mastigação. 

Maria Beatriz Duarte Gavião, State University of Campinas

bachelor's at Odontologia from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (1977), master's at Odontology from Universidade de São Paulo (1990) and doctorate at Odontology from Universidade de São Paulo (1992). Has experience in Odontology, acting on the following subjects: TMD, occlusion, eletrctromyography. ultrasound, salivary biomarkers., quality of life.


Brown WE, Braxton D. Dynamics of food breakdown during eating in relation to perceptions of texture and preference: a study on biscuits. Food Qual Prefer. 2000; 11: 259-67.

Kohyama K, Mioche L, Bourdiol P. Influence of age and dental status on chewing behaviour studied by EMG recordings during consumption of various food samples. Gerodontology, 2003; 20: 15-23.

van der Bilt A, Engelen L, Pereira LJ, van der Glas HW, Abbink JH. Oral physiology and mastication. Physiol Behav. 2006; 89: 22-7.

Fontijn-Tekamp FA, Slagter AP, Van Der Bilt A, Van ‘T Hof MA, Witter DJ, Kalk W et al. Biting and chewing in overdentures, full dentures, and natural dentitions. J Dent Res. 2000; 79: 1519-24.

Hatch JP, Shinkai RS, Sakai S, Rugh JD, Paunovich ED. Determinants of masticatory performance in dentate adults. Arch Oral Biol. 2001; 46: 641-8.

Shiau YY, Wang JSW. The effects of dental condidion on hand strength and maximum bite force. J Craniomand Pract. 1993; 11: 48-54.

van der Bilt A, Olthoff LW, Bosman F, Oosterhaven SP. The effect of missing postcanine teeth on chewing performance in man. Arch Oral Biol. 1993; 38: 423-9.

Julien KC, Buschang PH, Throckmorton GS, Dechow PC. Normal masticatory performance in young adults and children. Arch Oral Biol; 1996; 41: 69-75

Bonjardim LR, Gavião MB, Pereira LJ, Castelo PM. Bite force determination in adolescents with and without temporomandibular dysfunction. J Oral Rehabil. 2005; 32: 577-83.

Kamegai T, Tatsuki T, Nagano H, Mitsuhashi H, Kumeta J, Tatsuki Y et al. A determination of bite force in northern Japanese children. Eur J Orthod. 2005; 27: 53-7.

Kiliaridis S, Kjellberg H, Wenneberg B, Egström C. The relationship between maximal bite force, bite force endurance, and facial morphology during growth. A cross-sectional study. Acta Odontol Scand 1993; 51: 323-31.

Okiyama S, Ikebe K, Nokubi T. Association between masticatory performance and maximal occlusal force in young men. J Oral Rehabil. 2003; 30: 278-82.

Shiau YY, Peng CC, Wen SC, Lin LD, Wang JS, Lou KL. The effects of masseter muscle pain on biting performance. J Oral Rehabil. 2003; 30: 978-84.

Lucas PW, Prinz JF, Agrawal KR, Bruce IC. Food physics and oral physiology. Food Qual Prefer. 2002; 13: 203–13.

van der Bilt A, Fontijn-Tekamp FA. Comparison of single and multiple sieve methods for the determination of masticatory performance. Arch Oral Biol. 2004; 49: 193-8.

Tate GS, Throckmorton GS, Ellis III E, Sinn DP. Masticatory performance, muscle activity, and oclusal force in preorthognathic surgery patients. J Oral Maxill Surg. 994; 52: 476-81.

Edlund J, Lamm CJ. Masticatory efficiency. J Oral Rehabil 1980; 7: 123-30.

English JD, Buschang PH, Throckmorton GS. Does malocclusion affect masticatory performance? Angle Orthod. 2002; 72: 21-7.

van den Braber W, van der Glas H, van der Bilt A, Bosman F. Masticatory function in retrognathic patients, before and after mandibular advancement surgery. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2004; 62: 549-54.

Slagter AP, Olthoff LW, Bosman F, Steen WH. Masticatory ability, denture quality, and oral conditions in edentulous subjects. J Prosthet Dent. 1992; 68: 299-307.

Compagnon D, Veyrune Jl, Morenas M, Faulks D. Development of a synthetic bolus using silicone elastomer for the study of masticatory efficiency. J Prosthet Dent. 1999; 81: 704-9.

Gavião MB, Raymundo VG, Correr Sobrinho, L. Masticatory efficiency in children with primary dentition. Pediatr Dent. 2001; 23: 499-505.

Mowlana F, Heath MR, Van der Bilt A, Van der Glas HW. Assessment of chewing efficiency: a comparison of particle size distribution determined using optical scanning and sieving of almonds. J Oral Rehabil. 1994; 21: 545-51.

Gunne HS. Masticatory efficiency. A new method for determination of the breakdown of masticated test material. Acta Odontol Scand. 1983; 41: 271-6.

Shiau YY, Chang HF, Chang YC, Chang YC. Observation of bolus position with standardized test foods and fluoroscopic technique. J Oral Rehabil. 1996; 23: 607-14.

Garner LD, Kotwal NS. Correlation study of incisive biting forces with age, sex and anterior occlusion. J Dent Res. 1973; 52: 698-702.

Bourdiol P, Mioche L. Correlations between functional and occlusal tooth-surface areas and food texture during natural chewing sequences in humans. Arch Oral Biol. 2000; 45: 691-9.

Owens S, Buschang PH, Throckmorton GS, Palmer L, English J. Masticatory performance and areas of occlusal contact and near contact in subjects with normal occlusion and malocclusion. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2002; 121: 602-9.

Wilding RJ. The association between chewing efficiency and oclusal contact area in man. Arch Oral Biol 1993; 38: 589-96.

Wilding RJ. The association between chewing efficiency and oclusal contact area in man. Arch Oral Biol. 1993; 38: 589-96.

Finan DS, Smith A. Jaw stretch reflexes in children. Exp Brain Res. 2005; 164: 58-66.

Toro A, Buschang PH, Throckmorton G, Roldan S. Masticatory performance in children and adolescents with Class I and II malocclusions. Eur J Orthod. 2006; 28: 112-9.

Gibbs CH, Wickwire NA, Jacobson AP, Lundeen HC, Mahan PE, Lupkiewicz SM. Comparison of typical chewing patterns in normal children and adults. J Am Dent Assoc. 1982; 105: 33-42.

Wilding RJ, Lewin A. The determination of optimal human jaw movements based on their association with chewing performance. Arch Oral Biol. 1994; 39: 333-43.

Yaffe A, Hochman N, Brin I, Ben-Bassat Y, Lewin A, Ehrlich J. Chewing patterns in children with unilateral posterior crossbite. J Clin Ped Dent. 1993; 17: 139-142.

Sonnesen L, Bakke M. Molar bite force in relation to occlusion, craniofacial dimensions, and head posture in pre-orthodontic children. Eur J Orthod. 2005; 27: 58-63.

Maki K, Nishioka T, Morimoto A, Naito M, Kimura M. A study on the measurement of occlusal force and masticatory efficiency in school age Japanese children. Int J Paediatr Dent. 2001; 11: 281-5.

Ahlberg JP, Kovero OA, Hurmerinta KA, Zepa I, Nissinen MJ, Kononen MH Maximal bite force and its association with signs and symptoms of TMD, occlusion, and body mass index in a cohort of young adults. Cranio. 2003; 21: 248-52.

Braun S, Hnat WP, Freudenthaler JW, Marcotte MR, Hönigle K, Johnson BE. A study of maximum bite force during growth and development. Angle Orthod. 1996; 66: 261-4.

Raadsheer MC, van Eijden TMGJ, van Ginkel FC, Prahl– Andersen B. Contribution of jaw muscle size and craniofacial morphology to human bite force magnitude. J Dent Res. 1999; 78: 31-42.

Helle A, Tulensalo T, Ranta R. Maximum bite force values of children in different age groups. Proc Finn Dent Soc. 1983; 79: 151-4.

Hiiemae K, Heath MR, Heath G, Kazazoglu E, Murray J, Sapper, D. et al. Natural bites, food consistency and feeding behaviour in man. Arch Oral Biol. 1996; 41: 175-89.

Ikebe K, Nokubi T, Morii K, Kashiwagi J,Furuya M. Association of bite force with ageing and occlusal support in older adults. J Dent. 2005; 33: 131-7.

Krall E, Hayes C, Garcia R. How dentition status and masticatory function affect nutrient intake. J Am Dent Assoc. 1998; 129: 1261-9.

Teoh KH, Patel S, Hwang F, Huryn JM, Verbel D, Zlotolow IM. Prosthetic intervention in the era of microvascular reconstruction of the mandible-a retrospective analysis of functional outcome. Int J Prosthodont. 2005; 18: 42-54.




How to Cite

Lemos AD, Gambareli FR, Serra MD, Pocztaruk R de L, Gavião MBD. Chewing performance and bite force in children. Braz. J. Oral Sci. [Internet]. 2015 Nov. 26 [cited 2022 Nov. 28];5(18):1101-8. Available from: