The relationship between child’s emotions and deleterious oral habits. A study conducted in Kaunas City

Karolina Mockė1

1 Faculty of Dentistry, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences


            Para functional oral habits are often found in children and adults, although their etiology is clear, these habits are seldomly linked to a person’s emotional well-being.  The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between para functional oral habits and child’s emotions. An additional aim was later raised to determine whether a psychologist is a key specialist in deleterious oral habit treatment. This study contained 412 subjects which were from 3 to 16 years old. The subject’s parents had to answer a questionnaire and to subjectively state their child’s para functional oral habits and associated emotions with it. Deleterious oral habits were present in 44,7% of the subjects. Females had higher para functional oral habit prevalence (56,5%) than males (43,5%). 3-5-year-old group (n=98) had more para functional oral habits than any other age group. 3-5 and 11-12-year-old groups and “calm” emotion showed statistical significance (P=0,040) (P=0,048) respectively. Lip, nail, pencil biting was the most prevalent para functional oral habit (n=54). Most of the children were found to be calm while executing their para functional oral habit, although statistical significance was not found. Statistical significance was seen between non- nutritive sucking oral habits and angry (P=0,012) and happy emotion (P=0,005). No statistical significance was found between parental status, emotions and their child’s para functional oral habits. A psychologist is a key specialist in the treatment of deleterious oral habits.

Keywords: oral habits, children, orthodontics, emotions.