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Breakfast is important for healthy teeth

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A new study concludes children who skip breakfast could be more prone to tooth decay than those who follow good nutritional practices.

Specifically, not eating breakfast every day was found to be associated with overall caries (tooth decay) experience and untreated decay in the primary dentition in children aged 2 through 5 years, the authors of the study wrote in this month's Journal of the American Dental Association.

The study used data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 4,000 preschoolers, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The same study also found bad eating habits -- such as skipping breakfast and not eating enough fruits and vegetables -- make middle-class and upper-class children more prone to getting cavities than poor children.

Poverty may be the more important co-factor in indicating caries risk, but healthful eating practices are an important factor in the overall, complex process that leads to caries experience in young children, the authors concluded.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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