Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Free Sugars Consumption around Bedtime and Dental Caries in Children: A Systematic Review

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paula Moynihan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This systematic review aimed to assess the association between food and drink consumption andspecifically consuming food and drinks containing free sugars around bedtime and the risk of dentalcaries in children. Five electronic databases were searched (PubMed, Ovid Medline, EMBASE, Web ofscience and Scopus) to identify studies that investigated any relationship between food and drinkaround bedtime and dental caries in three to 16-year-old children. The Agency for HealthcareResearch and Quality (AHRQ) domain guidelines were used to assess the quality of the individualstudies, while GRADE guidelines assessed the quality of studies based on the body of evidence.From 1270 retrieved titles, 777 remained after removing duplicates. Of these 72 were reviewed infull. Eighteen papers fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis: 13-crosssectional,four cohort, and one case-control study.Based on the AHRQ criteria, six of the 18 studies were rated as providing good quality evidence;eight were rated as fair and four were categorised as of poor quality. It was not possible to conduct ameta-analysis because of the considerable variations in the type of bedtime exposure and outcomemeasures. While the included studies generally showed a consistent positive association, the qualityof the body of evidence pertaining to the consumption of food or drinks at bedtime or specificallyfood and drinks containing free sugars and risk of caries was rated as ‘very low’. The results suggeststhat restricting free sugars before and at bedtime may reduce the risk of caries but studies withimproved design are needed to confirm this.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baghlaf K, Muirhead V, Moynihan P, Weston-Price S, Pine C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Dental Research Clinical Translational Research

Year: 2018

Volume: 3

Issue: 2

Pages: 118-129

Print publication date: 01/04/2018

Online publication date: 03/01/2018

Acceptance date: 27/11/2017

Date deposited: 19/01/2018

ISSN (print): 2380-0844

ISSN (electronic): 2380-0852

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.


DOI: 10.1177/2380084417749215


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric