Your smile is the first thing that people notice in you. That is why you have to take good care of your oral health right from early age. Early Childhood Carries (ECC) happens to be a problem that mostly affects the kids under the age of six years.
Here are some vital information about Early Childhood Carries that you need to know so that you can take precautions at the right time in order to maintain your child’s oral health.
What is Early Childhood Caries?
Dental caries happens to be a chronic infectious disease that is primarily caused by bacteria that breaks down the sugar into acids. This erodes the teeth over time.
If the kid under the age of six years old has at least one missing tooth or cavity because of dental caries or a filling on any baby tooth, then they are thought to have early childhood carries.
If they are younger than the three years then and have a cavity on any of the tooth surface then they are considered to have severe childhood caries.
Risk Factors of ECC
There are several risk factors, apart from the poor oral hygiene, that escalate the chance of getting the Early Childhood Carries. The young kids face the risk of ECC if the caregiver has very high levels of bacteria causing the decay. The disease can be transferred to the child for instance through the saliva when cleaning the pacifier with the mouth or sharing the utensils.
Another risk factor includes a high consumption of sugar particularly between the meals. The most common foods that cause decay are sweets, chocolates, juice, cookies, sodas and so on. However, the sticky foods such as resins, dates and some dried fruits also increase the risk of tooth decay. There are some medicines that are highly flavoured with sugar which are often given to kids. This also increases the risk of Early Childhood Caries.
Also putting sweet drinks in milk bottles and sippy cups allow the kids to go to sleep with milk in the bottle that increases the risk of developing ECC as well.
Consequences of ECC
The oral health of the kid’s tooth should not be minimised just because they are “baby teeth”. When the kids are detected with ECC, the resulting infection and pain can give rise to a number of issues.
Most of the parents are not very good at describing the condition that the kids are suffering from and the parents may be able to know the severity only because of the restless nights and the poor eating habits and lack of concentration in school. All these play a vital role in the proper growth and development of the kids.
Apart from that, if ECC is left untreated for a while then the infection can get serious leading to very high fevers, hospital admission, visits to the emergency room and a much higher cost of treatment. If the changes are made early, kids with ECC also are more likely to develop caries in the permanent teeth
Precautionary Measures to Prevent ECC
- Parents should minimise the saliva sharing activities such as cleaning pacifiers with sharing utensils and mouth.
- Mothers should make sure that they have dental check-up and complete any required treatment to avoid passing-on the decay-causing bacteria to the kids.
- Oral hygiene is very significant. Parents should brush their kids’ teeth at least twice daily with an age-appropriate toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. For the kids under the age of 3 a smear amount of fluoride toothpaste is sufficient while for those between 3 and 8 years, a pea-sized amount is sufficient.
- Parents should bring their kids to visit a paediatric dentist by the age of 1 year for establishing a dental home for the kids.
- Minimise the consumption of sugar overall and also the sweet snacks and drinks in between the meals.
- Children who are at a risk of early childhood caries should visit the paediatric dentist for the professionally applied fluoride.
- Prevent kids from going to the bed with milk in the bottle or wipe their teeth with wet cloth after the night-time milk feeding.
- The best dentist in Delhi suggests that minimising the consumption of processed and junk foods that contain high amount of hidden sugar can also play a role in preventing tooth decay.
- As kids approached their first birthday, they should be encouraged to drink from a regular cup.
The above are some of the precautionary measures that you should take so that your kids can smile with confidence whenever they want.