What are early childhood caries (ECC)?
Children under the age of 6 that have already developed two or more cavities in their first set of teeth are considered to have ECC.
What are the common risk factors for ECC in infants?
- Not visiting the dentist on time
- Going to sleep with a full bottle of milk, fruit juice or pop
- Not having gums wiped or teeth brushed before bedtime
For toddlers and younger children, the risks are similar, especially when drinking juice and milk between meals. The sugar in these beverages leaves a coat on the teeth that attract cavity-forming bacteria. It is important to assure your child is drinking plenty of water throughout the day to wash away sugar to prevent baby bottle tooth decay.
How to Prevent ECC?
It is recommended that children visit either a general or pediatric dentist by the age of 1 when the upper and lower front baby teeth appear. Starting your child(ren) early on an oral hygiene routine is also a good preventative measure. This entails brushing with enamel-friendly fluoride toothpaste twice daily and using an anti-cavity fluoride mouthwash.
With early detection, cavities in children can be treated with a simple filling by your general dentist. If extensive work is needed, there are sedation options that can ensure your child’s comfort. At Davis Dental Care, the dentist and staff are friendly and well-trained and experienced to work with infants and young children.
If you are wondering if your child is ready for their first dental visit, it is likely that they are! This is the first step to prevent early childhood cavities. To learn more about CCE, contact the dentists at our Newmarket Dental Office today for a free consultation.