- by Dr Punyatoya sahoo
- 2 Shares
- Feb 06 2018
Understanding ECC: Early Childhood Caries
ECC is one of the growing health care problems in the world today and requires immediate attention. It is basically the presence of cavities, fillings or missing teeth due to caries in children between the age group of 1-71 months. This condition has a severe impact as it is a progressive pattern of dental caries that not only affects the milk tooth but the permanent ones as well.
What causes early caries?
- Lack of oral hygiene or dental issues from parents that transfer onto the new born
- Poor dietary intake that affects oral health
- Unrestricted or over consumption of sugary foods and beverages that cause tooth decay due to fermentation
- Feeding during bedtime which leaves behind some milk or food in the mouth during sleep which soaks the teeth making them easy prey for cavities
- Nocturnal breastfeeding increases risk of caries
- Poor oral hygiene or neglecting milk teeth not knowing its importance
- It is important for expecting parents to visit their dentist and check their oral health to avoid transferring diseases to their babies
- Decreasing the mother’s mutant bacteria levels can help reduce the risk of ECC
- Providing the children with a healthy, balanced diet
- Monitoring their intake of fermentable and sugary foods and liquids
- Avoiding nocturnal and bedtime breastfeeding
- Proper oral hygiene and teaching the kids how to brush, monitoring the activity and making them understand its importance
- It is important for the parents to care for their infant’s oral hygiene as caries can begin as soon as the first tooth erupts
Effects of early dental caries
Due to lack of understanding and neglect, this condition has a huge impact on the children. Parents often don’t pay too much attention to the milk teeth because it falls off but forget that they are the pathway to permanent teeth.
- ECC can cause significant damage to permanent teeth
- Alters facial structure and disrupts the jawline
- It could hinder the tongue as well causing staggering of speech
- It can psychologically affect the child as well due to teeth impartment, smile deformities and lowered confidence levels.
Schedule an appointment with the dentist regularly to maintain oral health and avoid cavities.
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