Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Systematic Review
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Child Temperament and Early Childhood Caries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review to assess current evidence for the association between child temperament and early childhood caries (ECC). Methods: A systematic search was conducted using MEDLINE® through PubMed®, EMBASE®, Scopus®, LILACS, Web of Science™, and EBSCO up to January 2023. Studies measuring ECC and child temperament for children younger than or equal to six years of age using questionnaires, interviews, and surveys through case-control studies, cohort studies, and cross-sectional studies were included. Literature reviews were excluded. Medical subject heading (MeSH) terms like "temperament" and "dental caries" were used by two authors who independently extracted the data, and a third author resolved disagreements. Risk of bias assessment was done using the Newcastle-Ottawa assessment scale for case-control and cohort studies and the Appraisal tool for Cross-Sectional Studies (AXIS). The quality of evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations approach (GRADE approach). A chi-square test and I-square index were used to evaluate heterogeneity. Results: A total of 5,072 records were screened, resulting in 15 included studies that yielded data for 6,667 participants; sevenstudies were high, and eight were of moderate quality. Seven studies qualified for meta-analysis, which revealed that persistence did not affectthe presence or absence of ECC. However, there was a strong association between difficult temperament and ECC (odds ratio equals 2.63). Conclusion: A positive association between a child's temperament and early childhood caries exists that is supported by quantitative findings, indicating a connection with very low certainty.

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