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Original Research

Open Access

The association of screen time with intake of potentially cariogenic food and oral health of school children aged 8–14 years—a cross-sectional study

  • Neetu Garg1,*,
  • Amit Khatri1
  • Namita Kalra1
  • Rishi Tyagi1

1Department of Paedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, University College of Medical Sciences and GTBH, 110095 Delhi, India

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.060 Vol.47,Issue 5,September 2023 pp.116-123

Submitted: 20 January 2023 Accepted: 19 April 2023

Published: 03 September 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Neetu Garg E-mail:


This study aimed to test the hypothesis that excessive screen time can affect the oral health of school children. In this observational cross-sectional study conducted in four schools in Delhi, National Capital Region (NCR), India, 497 school children aged 8–14 years were included. Convenience sampling was used to select schools. Data were extracted from a questionnaire pertaining to screen time and dietary habits, which was distributed to the school children during their first planned school visit. Seven days later, on their second school visit, the children were clinically examined by a calibrated examiner (κ = 0.9) for dental caries, plaque and gingival health using the following indices: Decayed, Missing, Filled teeth (DMFT)/decayed, extracted, filled teeth (deft), Silness-Loe plaque index (PI) and Loe-Silness gingival index (GI), respectively. Overall, 88.7% of the participants exhibited screen time of ≥2 h with maximum frequency for smartphones (93%), followed by television (84.7%). Significantly higher DMFT/deft values (3.20 ± 0.68 vs. 2.45 ± 0.35, p = 0.001), PI (1.04 ± 0.21 vs. 0.33 ± 0.10, p < 0.001) and GI (1.45 ± 0.34 vs. 0.12 ± 0.04, p < 0.001) were observed in those with screen time ≥2 h as compared to those with screen time <2 h. Data underwent statistical analysis with a significance threshold of p < 0.05. Excessive screen time can influence the eating patterns of children and contribute to higher DMFT, GI and PI.


Screen time; Oral health; Dental caries; Dental plaque

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Neetu Garg,Amit Khatri,Namita Kalra,Rishi Tyagi. The association of screen time with intake of potentially cariogenic food and oral health of school children aged 8–14 years—a cross-sectional study. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2023. 47(5);116-123.


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