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Early Childhood Caries

Posted by dentalworks4kids on January 23rd, 2015

Dental caries is the most common oral condition that affects systemic health and nutritional status in children and it’s important to know that dental problems can begin early.  A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (or baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries).  Dentists use the term early childhood caries (ECC) to describe the presence of one or more decayed, missing or filled teeth in a child younger than six years old.

 Moderate or severe caries, particularly in young children can have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life. If left, unchecked ECC can result in discomfort, pain, infections, swelling of the face and even gastrointestinal disorders. Children may also be reluctant to eat because of pain, which can lead to malnutrition and delayed growth. Other consequences of the ECC may be premature loss of baby teeth. It’s important for baby teeth to be maintained because premature loss can result in loss of space for the adult succeeding teeth. Lastly, children with ECC have an increased risk of developing cavities in their permanent teeth as well. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, have better speech, and smile with confidence, which can affect their psychosocial development.

 So how early should you be concerned about your child developing ECC?  Once a child’s diet includes anything besides breast-milk, erupted teeth are at risk for decay. At the eruption of the first tooth or by age one you should visit the Pediatric dentist.  That’s why both the Canadian and American Pediatric Dental Associations recommend that your child’s first dental visit be by your child’s first birthday.

 Many parents unfortunately are misinformed or delay bringing in their child until age two or three.  By then most if not all the primary teeth have already erupted. If the caries process has started it can run rampant through the mouth and ECC may have already set in. This can result in more complicated and extensive treatment for children and the cost to bring them back to good oral health can get expensive. Bringing your child in by their first birthday not only will save your child from unnecessary discomfort, but will also keep dental costs much lower.

 The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental disease and helping your child build a cavity-free smile. At Dental Works 4 Kids our pediatric specialists are uniquely trained to develop a combination of office and home preventive care to insure your child a happy, healthy smile for a lifetime!

 About The Author:

Dental Works 4 Kids is a pediatric & orthodontic health care specialist in Ontario, CA providing the highest standard of specialized and comprehensive oral healthcare and orthodontics for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special needs. Dental Works 4 Kids offer a safe and welcoming environment with a focus on education and prevention for families in our community.

Also See: Works 4, Early Childhood, Dental Works, Childhood Caries, Dental, Teeth, Children

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