Dental caries and sucrose consumption in a total of 715 5-year-old Indian children living in a low fluoride area (0.2 parts/106) around Johannesburg, South Africa, were studied. The children were subdivided into groups according to mean daily sucrose intake (≤ 50, 76–100, ≥ 126 g/day), frequency of sucrose intake per day (≤ 5, 7.1–9.0, 11.1–19.0 times per day) and combinations of the two, as well as according to the absence (DI-S = 0) and presence of plaque (DI-S = 0.17–3.0). In the primary dentition as a whole and in incisors and canines only, caries was significantly greater in most groups with dental plaque. While there was an irregular trend towards increased caries with increasing amount and frequency of sucrose intake, this was inconsistent and statistically not significant. In the group studied, oral hygiene was the dominant variable.

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