Introduction: Malocclusion is a pathology which has caused by multifactorial factores, being related to a lot of factors, as breastfeeding and deleterious oral habits. Objectives: The objective of this work was to verify the prevalence and association between time and type of breastfeeding with the installation of deleterious oral habits and consequential malocclusions. Materials and Methods: This is a transversal-type, observational, descriptive study, which evaluated 297 children, aged from three to five years, enrolled in municipal kindergartens. The first phase was carried out with a form directed to parents and guardians and collected information on the lactation period, presence of deleterious oral habits (DOH) and socioeconomic data. The second step consisted of the clinical occlusal examination of children whose parents or guardian had signed the Informed Consent Form and that were within the inclusion criteria of the survey. The data analysis was conducted at a level of significance of 5% through the tests χ2 and odds ratio, the OddsRatio were determined by formula OR = ad/bc, both processed in the software SPSS version 14.0. Results: Deleterious oral habits had a prevalence of 96.6% in the sample, the average time of exclusive breastfeeding was 4.57 months. The habit of highest incidence was the bottle suction, present in 69% of children, but the pacifier was the main responsible for developing malocclusions. Conclusion: The obtained data allow concluding that the breastfeeding time influenced directly the presence of deleterious oral habits and malocclusions in the primary dentition, and that digital sucking habits, pacifier sucking and baby’s bottle are associated with malocclusions in the studied population.
Key words: Breastfeeding, Children, Habits, Malocclusion, Oral Health.