Early Childhood Caries

What are early childhood caries?

Early childhood caries is the most prevalent yet preventable and treatable dental condition in children less than 5 years of age.

It’s a severe form of caries affecting infants and young children.

Where is it seen?

Usually develops on smooth surfaces most commonly affecting the upper front teeth followed by upper and lower molar and lower front teeth.

How to identify it?

The white chalky appearance of teeth (initial decalcification)
Yellowish/ brownish discoloration on upper front teeth
Cavities that have eaten away most of the milk tooth.
Child complaining of pain in the front or back tooth region.

What Are the Risk Factors to Developing ECC?

Not visited the dentist yet
A child goes to sleep with a milk bottle in their mouth.
Don’t have their gums wiped or teeth brushed before their sleep time.
Bottle feeding/breastfeeding at bedtime

How to prevent ECC?

Bottle feed only during mealtime
Adopt a healthy balanced diet for your child and limit starchy, sugary snacks, and sugary drinks.
Do not dip pacifiers in any sweetening liquid
Teach your child to drink from a cup.
Clean your child’s mouth with a soft cloth over the gums. As teeth start to erupt smear some paste over the brush and clean their teeth twice daily.

How is ECC Treated?

Mild ECC

Encouraging to eat a healthy balanced diet.
Avoiding refined carbohydrates
Fluoride treatment.
Regular dental visits

Moderate ECC:

Tooth-colored fillings
Fluoride treatment
Balanced diet
Regular dental visits

Severe ECC :

Pulp therapy ( root canal treatment in children )
Crowns( stainless steel/ zirconia/ strip crowns)

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