Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry

Register      Login

VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Feeding and Snacking Practices and their Related Factors among Preschool Children from Rural and Urban Areas of Tanzania

Zenais F Kawishe, Matilda Mtaya

Keywords : Feeding and snacking practices, Preschool children, Tanzania

Citation Information : Kawishe ZF, Mtaya M. Feeding and Snacking Practices and their Related Factors among Preschool Children from Rural and Urban Areas of Tanzania. J Oral Health Comm Dent 2022; 16 (1):30-35.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10062-0125

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 27-04-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Background: Feeding practices of children have been seen to influence their general oral health. Improper feeding practices of the children may predispose them to dental diseases like early childhood caries (ECC) that in turn affects not only their oral health but also their general health. Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the feeding and snacking practices and related factors in preschool children from rural and urban areas of Tanzania. Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional study which was conducted in preschools at Upanga East and Upanga West in Dar es Salaam as urban wards and Kisawasawa and Kibegere in Kilosa as rural wards. The sample size was comprised of 790 preschool children whose parents/caregivers filled out a special questionnaire on information regarding their children's feeding practices. Results: A total of 790 preschool children's parents/caregivers participated in this study. Among these, 383 (48.5%) children were from urban areas and 407 (51.5%) were from rural areas. There were 414 (52.4%) boys and 376 (47.6%) girls with an age range of 28 to 60 months with a mean age of 51.81 (SD) months. Most (90.6%) children were reported to take snacks between meals. Snacks that were mostly taken by the children were both sticky and nonsticky sugary snacks. Most (60.8%) of the children were taking snacks once per day. Majority (92.6%) of children who were >48 months of age were reported to be taking snacks between meals. More (54.3%) children from rural areas were sleeping with the mother's breast nipple in the mouth than those from the urban areas (p = 0.000). Most (61.7%) of the preschool children with parents/caregivers with higher level of education were using bottle-feeding. Conclusion: Reported feeding practices of preschool children from rural and urban areas of Tanzania were not healthy for children's oral health. So, there is a need for health workers to provide adequate information on proper feeding practices to the parents/caregivers of these preschool children.

  1. Meyer F, Enax J. Early childhood caries: epidemiology, aetiology, and prevention. Int J Dent 2018;2018. DOI: 10.1155/2018/1415873.
  2. Naidu R, Nunn J, Donnelly-Swift E. Oral health-related quality of life and early childhood caries among preschool children in Trinidad. BMC Oral Health 2016;16(1):128. DOI: 10.1186/s12903-016-0324-7.
  3. Inglehart MR, Filstrup SL, WA. Oral health and quality of life in children. In: Inglehart MR, Bagramian RA, editors. Oral health-related quality of life. Chicago: Quintessence Publ. Co.; 2002. p. 79–88.
  4. Begzati A, Berisha M, Meqa K. Early childhood caries in preschool children of Kosovo–a serious public health problem. BMC Public Health 2010;10(1):1–8. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-788.
  5. Jose B, King NM. Early childhood caries lesions in preschool children in Kerala, India. Pediatr Dent 2003;25(6):594–600. PMID: 14733478.
  6. Benedict P, Kikwilu E. Dental caries knowledge and perceptions among mothers attending reproductive and child health clinics, Kinondoni, Tanzania. Tanzania Dent J 2006;13(1):13–17. DOI: 10.4314/tdj.v13i1.37553.
  7. Huntington NL, Kim IJ, Hughes CV. Caries-risk factors for Hispanic children affected by early childhood caries. Pediatr Dent 2002;24(6):536–542. PMID: 12528946.
  8. Prakash P, Subramaniam P, Durgesh BH, et al. Prevalence of early childhood caries and associated risk factors in preschool children of urban Bangalore, India: a cross-sectional study. Eur J Dent 2012;6(2):141–152. PMID: 22509116.
  9. Sowole CA, Sote, E. Breast feeding, bottle feeding and caries experience in children aged 6 months to 5 years in Lagos State, Nigeria. African J Oral Heal 2006;2(1 and 2):43–56. DOI: 10.4314/ajoh.v3i1-2.57026.
  10. Ölmez S, Uzamiş M, Erdem G. Association between early childhood caries and clinical, microbiological, oral hygiene and dietary variables in rural Turkish children. Turk J Pediatr 2003;45(3):231–236. PMID: 14696801.
  11. Viswanath D, Sabu N. Prevalence of dental caries, the effect of sugar intake and tooth brushing practices in children aged 5–11 years in Bangalore North. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2014;5(3):155–162. DOI: 10.4103/0976-433X.138721.
  12. Meyer F, Karch A, Schlinkmann KM, et al. Sociodemographic determinants of spatial disparities in early childhood caries: an ecological analysis in Braunschweig, Germany. Commun Dent Oral Epidemiol 2017;45(5):442–448. DOI: 10.1111/cdoe.12308.
  13. Hooley M, Skouteris H, Boganin C, et al. Parental influence and the development of dental caries in children aged 0–6 years: a systematic review of the literature. J Dent 2012;40(11):873–885. DOI: 10.1016/j.jdent.2012.07.013.
  14. Qadri G, Nourallah A, Splieth CH. Early childhood caries and feeding practices in kindergarten children. Quintessence Int 2012;43(6):503–510. PMID: 22532957.
  15. Nunes AM, Alves CM, Borba de Araújo F, et al. Association between prolonged breast-feeding and early childhood caries: a hierarchical approach. Commun Dent Oral Epidemiol 2012;40(6):542–549. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2012.00703.x.
  16. Bullappa D, Puranik MP, Sowmya KR, et al. Association of feeding methods and Streptococcus mutans count with early childhood caries: a cross-sectional study. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2017;10(2):119–125. DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1420.
  17. Narksawat K, Boonthum A, Tonmukayakul U. Roles of parents in preventing dental caries in the primary dentition among preschool children in Thailand. Asia-Pacific J Public Heal 2011;23(2):209–216. DOI: 10.1177/1010539509340045.
  18. Shrutha SP, Balarama G, Vinit G, et al. Feeding practices and early childhood caries: a cross-sectional study of preschool children in Kanpur District, India. ISRN Dent 2013, 2013. DOI: 10.1155/2013/275193.
  19. Kruger E, Dyson K, Tennant M. Pre-school child oral health in rural Western Australia. Aust Dent J 2005;50(4):258–262. DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2005.tb00370.x.
  20. Hatib MM. Factors associated with early childhood caries in 2–5-year-old children attending dental treatment at Muhimbili University dental clinic [Doctoral dissertation]. Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, 2015.
  21. Lawrence H, Romanetz M, Rutherford L, et al. Oral health of aboriginal preschool children in Northern Ontario. Probe 2004;38(4):172–190.
  22. Khan AI, Raihan M, Hossain M, et al. Dental caries and associated factors among 2-5 years children attending OPD of a selected dental hospital in Bangladesh. Updat Dent Coll J 2011;1(I):2–5. DOI: 10.3329/updcj.v1i1.13945.
  23. Iida H, Auinger P, Billings RJ, et al. Association between infant breastfeeding and early childhood caries in the United States. Pediatrics 2007;120(4):e944–e952. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-0124.
  24. Ashkanani F, Al-Sane M. Knowledge, attitudes and practices of caregivers in relation to oral health of preschool children. Med Princ Pract 2013;22(2):167–172. DOI: 10.1159/000341764.
  25. Kiwanuka SN, Åstrøm AN, Trovik T. Dental caries experience and its relationship to social and behavioural factors among 3–5-year-old children in Uganda. Int J Paediatr Dent 2004;14(5):336–346. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2004.00570.x.
  26. Masumo R, Bardsen A, Mashoto K, et al. Prevalence and socio-behavioral influence of early childhood caries, ECC, and feeding habits among 6-36 months old children in Uganda and Tanzania. BMC Oral Health 2012;12(1):24–36. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6831-12-24.
  27. Mani S, John J, Ping W, et al. Early childhood caries: parent's knowledge, attitude and practice towards its prevention in Malaysia. Oral Heal Care Pediatr Res Epidemiol Clin Pract 2006;3–19. DOI: 10.5772/33898.
  28. Al-Oufi A, Omar O. Oral health knowledge and practices of mothers toward their children's oral health in Al Madinah. Br J Med Med Res 2016;15(10):1–10. DOI: 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/26113.
  29. Ahmad R, Togoo RA, Al-shahrani I, et al. Awareness among young parents about preventive aspects of early childhood caries in Abha City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. World J Dent 2016;7(1):10–13. DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1355.
  30. Luís S, Mara P, Souza S, et al. Association between early childhood caries and maternal caries status: a cross-section study. Eur J Dent 2015;9(1):122–126. DOI: 10.4103/1305-7456.149659.
  31. Olatosi OO, Inem V, Sofola OO, et al. The prevalence of early childhood caries and its associated risk factors among preschool children referred to a tertiary care institution. Nigerian J Clin Pract 2015;18(4):493–501. DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.156887.
  32. Perera PJ, Fernando MP, Warnakulasooriya TD, et al. Effect of feeding practices on dental caries among preschool children: a hospital based analytical cross sectional study. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2014;23(2):272–277. DOI: 10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.2.13.
  33. Schroth RJ, Brothwell DJ, Moffatt MEK. Caregiver knowledge and attitudes of preschool oral health and early childhood caries (ECC). Int J Circumpolar Health 2007;66(2):153–167. DOI: 10.3402/ijch.v66i2.18247.
  34. Rwakatema DS, Ng'ang'a PM. Early childhood caries in Moshi, Tanzania. East Afr Med J 2010;87(7):304–310. PMID: 23451550.
  35. Chen KJ, Gao SS, Duangthip D, et al. Dental caries status and its associated factors among 5-year-old Hong Kong children: a cross-sectional study. BMC Oral Heal 2017;17(1):121. DOI: 10.1186/s12903-017-0413-2.
  36. Fan C, Wang W, Xu T, et al. Risk factors of early childhood caries among children in Beijing: a case-control study. BMC Oral Health 2016;16(1):98. DOI: 10.1186/s12903-016-0289-6.
  37. Doğan D, Dülgergil ÇT, Mutluay AT, et al. Prevalence of caries among preschool-aged children in a central Anatolian population. J Nat Sci Biol Med 2013;4(2):325. DOI: 10.4103/0976-9668.116995.
  38. Retnakumari N, Cyriac G. Childhood caries as influenced by maternal and child characteristics in pre-school children of Kerala–an epidemiological study. Contemp Clin Dent 2012;3(1):2–8. DOI: 10.4103/0976-237X.94538.
  39. Chan SCL, Tsai JSJ, King N. Feeding and oral hygiene habits of preschool children in Hong Kong and their caregivers. Dental knowledge and attitudes. Int J Paediatr Dent 2002;12(5):322–331. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-263x.2002.00389.x.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.