The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed the breastfeeding behaviors and sugar consumption of 1,129 children in the Brazilian city of Pelotas. At age 5 the children visited a dentist and were examined for decayed or missing teeth, CNN reported. Severe cases were defined as a child with six or more cavities.
According to the study, 23.9 percent of the children had severe cavities and 48 percent had at least one tooth affected by a cavity. Children who were breastfed for more than two years had a 2.4 times higher risk of having severe cavities than those who were breastfed for less than a year, the study said.
The study also found a correlation between socioeconomic traits and frequency of cavities, CNN reported. Low-income families and mothers with limited education had children with more cavities, the study revealed.
Fluoride in water can prevent tooth decay, CNN reported. Pelotas has had a fluoridated water supply since 1962.