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A new masticatory performance assessment method for infants: a feasibility study

Abstract : This study evaluated the feasibility of assessing masticatory performance in infants and toddlers. Four groups of healthy children (n=97, 42 girls and 55 boys) participated in the study: two study groups (SG) followed at 6, 8 and 10 months old (mo) or at 12, 15 and 18 mo, and two control groups (CG) of respectively 10 and 18 mo children. Masticatory performance was determined from children's ability to comminute a model gel during videotaped lab measurements. The gel was inserted in a mesh feeder and offered to the child for a 60s oral processing duration, then gel particles were collected from the feeder and photographed. Resulting gel breakdown was assessed from the characterization of the area and number of formed particles. Children strategy to orally process the gel (sucking vs. biting/chewing) was evaluated from video recordings. Children's compliance (acceptance of the feeder in the mouth for the expected duration) was average (51%) overall. It decreased from 1 year of age and was higher in SG than in CG. The number and area of gel particles formed under oral processing increased significantly with age, demonstrating an increase in children masticatory performance as they grew up. Median particles area was positively associated with sucking behavior and negatively associated with biting/chewing. The association with teeth emergence was not significant. In conclusion, the proposed method is relevant for quantifying the development of early masticatory performance in children who accept to hold the feeder in their mouth.
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Carole Tournier, Lauriane Demonteil, Francis Canon, Agnès Marduel, Gilles Feron, et al.. A new masticatory performance assessment method for infants: a feasibility study. Journal of Texture Studies, Wiley-Blackwell, 2019, 50 (3), pp.237-247. ⟨10.1111/jtxs.12388⟩. ⟨hal-02620564⟩

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