OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of oral habits and breastfeeding on the oral skills of children. METHODS: Cross-sectional study evaluated the oral skills of 125 nine-month- old-children born at term, belonging to Macro-Midwest region of Rio Grande do Sul between August 2010 and March 2011. Variables included evaluating oral skills and information on breastfeeding and weaning. The results were analyzed using simple and multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: Breastfeeding positively infl uenced the acquisition of oral skills sucking at nine months of age (OR 3.1, 95%CI 1.2;8.3) and using a pacifi er had a negative effect (OR 0.1, 95%CI 0.03;0.6). CONCLUSIONS: It was found that breastfeeding contributed to mature orofacial as it improved the ability of oral suction. Pacifi er use was shown to affect the functioning of the stomatognathic system. This should be made clear to parents and the use of pacifi ers during infancy should be avoided.
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