Chewing performance and bite force in children
Keywords:Mastication. Muscle strength. Mixed dentition. Dental arch. Children
AbstractThe 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.
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