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Early Childhood Caries

Dental caries is a common chronic infectious transmissible disease resulting from tooth-adherent specific bacteria that metabolize sugars to produce acid which, over time, demineralizes tooth structure. The disease of early childhood caries (ECC) is the presence of one or more decayed, missing or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child 6 years of age or younger. Newly-erupted teeth, because of immature enamel, may be at higher risk of developing caries.

Preventive measures include twice-daily brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, avoiding night-time bottle feeding with milk or juice and avoiding sippy cups and in-between-meal snacks with sugar. Frequent consumption of snacks and beverages containing sugars increases the risk of caries.

Early Childhood Caries


Source: http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/P_ECCClassifications.pdf

Information for New Moms

Good dental health can start before your baby’s first tooth even appears! Here are some helpful tips for new parents from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?

The sooner, the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with water and a soft infant toothbrush or cloth. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate toothbrush. Use a "smear" of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his or her first birthday.

When should bottle feeding be stopped?

Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age. Also, to avoid tooth decay, children should not fall asleep with a bottle containing anything other than water.

Should I worry about thumb-sucking and pacifier habits?

These habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or pacifier past the age of 3, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.

How can I avoid passing germs to my baby?

Avoid sharing food, spoons and toothbrushes or licking a baby’s pacifier, as you may pass germs that cause tooth decay to your baby.