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Table 1 Summary of characteristics and results of the included studies

From: The effect of pacifier sucking on orofacial structures: a systematic literature review

Study, year Study design, country Sample size Follow-up Age range (mean ± SD) in months Characteristics of the control group Examined orofacial structures Results: Pacifier group Results: Control group
Adair et al., 1995 [12] Cross-sectional study, USA 218 No 24–59 (44 ± 9) No sucking habits AOB, PCB, overjet, molar and canine relationship AOB: 16.7%**, PCB:15%*, overjet (≥ 4 mm): 20%*, class II primary canine relationship: 17.7%*, distal step molar relationship: 9.6%* AOB: 3.1%, PCB: 5.1%, overjet (≥ 4 mm): 10.2%, class II primary canine relationship: 9.3%, distal step molar relationship: 3.6%
de Sousa et al., 2014 [23] Cross-sectional study, Brazil 732 No 36–60 No pacifier sucking habits AOB, PCB AOB: 38.6.9%***, PCB: 18.2%***, AOB ≥ 36 months pacifier sucking: 73.5% vs < 36 months pacifier sucking: 19.5%***, PCB ≥ 36 months pacifier sucking: 25.5% vs < 36 months pacifier sucking: 15.5%* AOB: 5.2%, PCB: 5.7%
Dimberg et al., 2010 [24] Cross-sectional study, Sweden 457 No 36 ± 3 No sucking habits AOB, PCB, overjet, class II canine relationship AOB: 66%***, PCB: 25%***, overjet (> 4 mm): 28%***, class II canine relationship: 34%*** AOB: 1%, PCB: 1%, overjet (> 4 mm): 4%, class II canine relationship: 2%
Duncan et al., 2008 [10] Prospective cohort study, Great Britain 867 0–61 months of age (questionnaire after 15, 24, and 36 months of age, clinical examination after 31, 43, and 61 months of age) 31, 43, and 61 No sucking habits AOB, PCB, spaced labial segment Pacifier sucking at 15 months: presence of AOB at 31, 43, and 61 months**, presence of PCB at 31, 43, and 61 months***, spaced upper labial segment at 61 months***, spaced lower labial segment at 31 months*** Pacifier sucking at 24 months: presence of AOB at 31, 43, and 61 months***, presence of PCB at 31, 43, and 61 months***, alignment of the upper labial segment at 43 and 61 months**, alignment of the lower labial segment at 31 months*** Pacifier sucking at 36 months: presence of AOB at 43 and 61 months***, presence of PCB at 43 and 61 months ***, alignment of the upper labial segment at 61 months***, alignment of the lower labial segment at 43 months*** No data in paper
Facciolli Hebling et al., 2008 [25] Cross-sectional study, Brazil 728 No 60 No pacifier sucking habits AOB, PCB AOB: 81.5%***, PCB: 27.1*** AOB: 11.85%, PCB: 13.73%
Katz and Rosenblatt, 2005 [26] Prospective cohort study, Brazil 305 1 year At the beginning average age: 48 ± 5 No sucking habits AOB AOB: 72% of the AOB group was pacifier sucking (initial examination) and 59% in the final examination* AOB: 16% of the AOB group had no sucking habits (initial examination) and 23% in the final examination
Lagana et al., 2013 [27] Cross-sectional study, Albania 2617 No 84–180 No control group Molar and canine relationship Molar and canine relationship: no statistically significant correlation  
Lima et al., 2016 [15] Prospective cohort study, Brazil 220 Birth up to the age of 29 ± 2 months; T1: birth, T2: questionnaire after 12–24 months, T3: clinical examination at the age of 24–36 months 24–36 (29 ± 2) No pacifier sucking habits AOB, PCB, overjet, molar and canine relationship, deep overbite AOB: 96.3%**, PCB: 88.9%*, overjet (> 2 mm): 67.5%***, distal step of primary molar: 77.8%***, mesial step of primary molar: 6%***, flush: 85.7%***, deep overbite: 77.8%*** AOB: 3.7%, PCB: 11.1%, overjet (> 2 mm): 32.5%, distal step of primary molar: 22.2%, mesial step of primary molar: 64%, flush: 22.8%, deep overbite: 22.2%
Melsen et al., 1979 [28] Cross-sectional study, Denmark 723 No 120–132 No sucking habits AOB, PCB, overjet, molar and canine relationship, swallowing (normal swallow (NSW), tongue-thrust swallow (TTS), teeth-apart swallow (TAS), deep overbite AOB: 8.5%, NSW: 0.6%, TTS: 34%, TAS: 12.4%, PCB: 14.1%***, NSW: 12.4%, TTS: 14.9%***, TAS: 17.1%*, increased overjet: 23.3%, NSW: 13.9%, TTS: 51.1%, TAS: 26%, bilateral distal occlusion: 41.4%***, NSW: 24.5%, TTS: 74.5%, TAS: 56.3%, mesial occlusion: 1.9%**, NSW: 2.2%**, TTS: 1.1%, TAS: 1.9%, deep overbite: 32%, NSW: 34.1%*, TTS: 22.3%, TAS: 33.5% AOB: 5.2%, NSW: 1.4%, TTS: 25%, TAS: 9.5%, PCB: 3.1%, NSW: 2.8%, TTS: 0%, TAS: 4.7%, increased overjet: 15.9%, NSW: 7.4%, TTS: 50%, TAS: 38.5%, bilateral distal occlusion: 24%, NSW: 14.9%, TTS: 62.5%, TAS: 38.1%, mesial occlusion: 0%, NSW: 0%, TTS: 0%, TAS: 0%, Deep overbite: 25%, NSW: 22.4%, TTS: 11.7%, TAS: 38.1%
Moimaz et al., 2014 [3] Prospective cohort study, Brazil 80 Birth up to 30 months of age (questionnaire after 12, 18, and 30 months of age, clinical examination at the 30 months of age 30 No control group AOB, PCB, overjet, overbite (> 3 mm) AOB and overjet (> 3 mm): pacifier sucking stop at 12***, 18, and 30***months, PCB: pacifier sucking stop at 12, 18, and 30 months, overbite (> 3 mm): pacifier sucking stop at 12, 18, and 30** months  
Scavone et al., 2007 [29] Cross-sectional study, Brazil 366 No 36–72 No pacifier- and finger sucking habits PCB PCB: 20.4%**, pacifier sucking until 2 years of age: 17.2%*, pacifier sucking until 4 years of age: 16.9%*, pacifier sucking until 6 years of age: 27.3%** PCB: 5.2%
Schlomer, 1984 [30] Cross-sectional study, Germany 582 No 36–72 No sucking habits AOB, PCB, overjet (no significance data in the study) (no significance data in the study at all) AOB: 22.8%, PCB: 12.8%, overjet (> 3 mm): 13.2%, pacifier sucking (NUK) stop until 3 years: 3–4 years of age: AOB: 15.2%, PCB: 23.9%, overjet (> 3 mm):10.9%, 5 years of age: AOB: 9.6%, PCB: 11.5%, overjet (> 3 mm): 1.9%, 6 years pf age: AOB: 2.7%, PCB: 10.8%, overjet (> 3 mm): 5.4% (no statistical significance for all mentioned data) AOB: 2.1%, PCB 0.7%, Overjet (> 3 mm): 12.2%
Tibolla et al., 2012 [31] Cross-sectional study, Brazil 237 No 36–168: Deciduous: 36–60, Mixed: 72–120, Permanent: 132–168 No pacifier sucking habit AOB AOB: 36.5%***, deciduous dentition: 65%***, mixed dentition: 37.3%**, permanent dentition: 23.4%*, > 2 years pacifier sucking vs ≤ 2 years: in deciduous dentition: 83.3% vs. 11.5%***, mixed dentition: 47.6% vs. 11.7***, permanent dentition: 25.9 vs. 9.4%, no or/and only to sleep vs. all the time in deciduous dentition: 17.2% vs. 88.9%***, in mixed dentition: 15.7% vs. 44.4%**, in permanent dentition: 10.7% vs. 25% AOB: 7.2%, deciduous: 0%, mixed: 11.7%, permanent: 3%
Wagner and Heinrich-Weltzien [16] Randomized clinical trial, Germany 86 3, 6, 9, and 12 months 16–24 months (20.3) Weaned of pacifier with a pacifier-associated open bite or overjet ≥ 2 mm AOB, overjet Overjet 2.7 ± 0.5 mm, AOB − 1.2 ± 0.3 mm Overjet 2.4 ± 0.5 mm, AOB − 0.8 ± 0.8 mm
Warren and Bishara, 2002 [32] Prospective cohort study, USA 372 Birth until 5 years (questionnaire after 3, 6, 9, 12, 20, and 24 months of age, after that yearly, clinical examination: 54–60 months age) 54–60 No control group AOB, PCB, overjet, molar and canine relationship, vertical overbite, arch width AOB: 24–36 months pacifier sucking: lower prevalence than < 12 months**, PCB: 24–36 months had a higher prevalence of PCB than ≤24 months**, overjet (≥4 mm): 24–36 months pacifier sucking: lower prevalence than < 12 months, class II canine relationship: 24–36 months pacifier sucking: slightly higher prevalence than < 12 months, arch width and depths measurements: only small differences between < 12 months and 12–36 months pacifier sucking, vertical overbite (mm): not statistically significant between pacifier sucking less than 12 months, 12 to 24 months, and 24 to 36 months.  
Zimmer et al., 2011 [13] Prospective cohort study, Germany 121 0–26 months 16 ± 4 No pacifier sucking habit AOB, overjet AOB: NUK-group: 38%***, Dentistar group: 5%, overjet (mm): NUK-group: 1.7 ± 1.4, Dentistar group: 1.3 ± 1.0 AOB: 0%, overjet: 1 ± 1 mm
Zimmer et al., 2016 [14] Prospective cohort study, Germany 121 12 months 20–36 No pacifier sucking habit AOB, overjet, molar and canine relationship, deep overbite AOB: NUK-group: 50%, Dentistar group: 6.7%, increased overjet: NUK-group: 19%, Dentistar group: 31.1%**, class II primary canine and molar relationship: NUK-group: 11.1%, Dentistar group: 4.8%, deep overbite: NUK-group: 2.4%, Dentistar group: 6.7%, AOB: 0%, increased overjet: 5.9%, class II primary canine and molar relationship: 2.9%, deep overbite: 8.9%
  1. AOB anterior open bite, PCB posterior crossbite, NSW normal swallow, TTS tongue-thrust swallow, TAS teeth-apart swallow
  2. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001