Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Liu, Dawei

Second Advisor

Bradley, T. G.

Third Advisor

Bosio, Jose A.


Objectives: To determine if a chewing side preference exists among the initial orthodontic patients evaluated and to determine which of the factors analyzed significantly correlates with the observed chewing side preference. A relationship between chewing side preference and malocclusion (Angle molar classification), body laterality or handedness, occlusal contact area, and facial asymmetry were all investigated.

Methods: Fifty-six initial orthodontic patients participated in this study. Data collection consisted of the following procedures: (I) frontal photographs in repose and upon smiling to examine facial asymmetry, (2) gum chewing to determine chewing side preference, (3) bite through wax to determine occlusal contact surface area in centric occlusion, (4) complete a lateral handedness questionnaire. The participant's dental models were evaluated to determine their malocclusion as determined by Angle molar classification. Results: A chewing side preference was displayed in 80.4% of participants, with a distribution of 42.90/o with right side chewing preferences and 37.5% with left side chewing preferences. A significant correlation was found between chewing side preference and handedness (p=.008). No relationship was found between chewing side preference and molar relationship, occlusal contact area, or facial asymmetry at repose and upon smiling. Conclusions: Chewing side preferences exist in initial orthodontic patients. These preferences are related to handedness or laterality, but are not to molar relationship, occlusal contact area or facial asymmetry.



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