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Systematic Reviews

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Effects of non-nutritive sucking habits on malocclusions: a systematic review

  • Cyrielle Sadoun1,*,
  • Laura Templier2
  • Larry Alloul1
  • Cecilia Rossi2
  • Inés Díaz Renovales2
  • Iván Nieto Sanchez2
  • Patricia Martín-Palomino Sahagún3

1Postgraduate student in Orthodontics, Alfonso X El Sabio University, 28037 Madrid, Spain

2Master of Orthodontics, Alfonso X El Sabio University, 28037 Madrid, Spain

3Department Head of Master of Orthodontics, Alfonso X El Sabio University, 28037 Madrid, Spain

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.029 Vol.48,Issue 2,March 2024 pp.4-18

Submitted: 19 May 2023 Accepted: 13 July 2023

Published: 03 March 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Cyrielle Sadoun E-mail:


The development of the craniomandibular system is guided by genetic interactions and environmental factors, including specific habits such as breastfeeding, bottle feeding, thumb sucking and the use of pacifiers. These habits can have a considerable impact on the growth of the developing jaws and can lead to malocclusion in children. This review aims to investigate potential associations between non-nutritive sucking habits (NNSHs) and malocclusions compared to the presence of nutritive sucking habits (NSHs). To carry out this systematic review, we followed the PRISMA protocol and performed a bibliographic search of the existing literature until April 2023 in the following electronic databases: Medline, PubMed, The Cochrane Library and Embase. Out of a total of 153 records, we included 21 studies. We found that the chances of diagnosing a malocclusion were higher for children with bottle nutrition when compared to breast-fed children. Breastfeeding provides protection against malocclusions. In the same manner, persistent NNSH habits appeared to be associated with increased chances of having malocclusions. The longer the child was breastfed, the shorter the duration of the pacifier habit and the lower the risk of developing moderate/severe malocclusions. The duration of the habits has a positive influence on the appearance of occlusion defects.


Thumb sucking; Pacifier; Breastfeeding; Bottle feeding; Malocclusion; Orthodontics; Sucking habits

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Cyrielle Sadoun,Laura Templier,Larry Alloul,Cecilia Rossi,Inés Díaz Renovales,Iván Nieto Sanchez,Patricia Martín-Palomino Sahagún. Effects of non-nutritive sucking habits on malocclusions: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(2);4-18.


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