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early childhood caries

Early Childhood Caries

Early Childhood Caries is the presence of one or more decayed teeth, missing teeth due to decay or dental restorations in any baby teeth in children from birth to around six years of age. Baby bottle decay or early childhood caries affects baby teeth or milk teeth.  Baby teeth erupt when the child is about 6 months old and stop erupting at around 33 months of age.  Many people think that baby teeth are not necessary because they are temporary and will fall out at some point.  Baby teeth have an essential role in your child’s oral health.  Your child’s baby teeth allow them to speak and chew food thoroughly and adequately.  Another important role they play is to preserve space for the permanent or adult teeth to come in or erupt. Baby teeth are usually lost around the age of 12 years old.  It is essential that the baby teeth remain in good oral health until then to avoid misaligned teeth or pain.

How is Early Childhood Caries caused?

It usually occurs on the upper front teeth, but it may also affect bottom teeth.  Common causes include:

  • Giving your child a bottle of milk, juice or formula before they go to bed.
  • Frequent snacking of foods high in sugar.
  • Inadequate oral care at home.
  • Breathing through the mouth which causes dry mouth.

How do I prevent it?

  • Avoid dipping your child’s pacifier in honey, syrups, jam, etc.
  • Only fill your child’s bottle with formula, milk or breast milk during the day.
  • Clean your child’s teeth with a children’s toothbrush or soft napkin before they go to bed.
  • Give your child a clean pacifier or a bottle of water if they need something to suckle while they sleep.
  • Teach your child to drink from a cup when they are one year old.
  • Ensure your child has regular visits to the dentist to monitor their oral health.

Remember to never send your child to bed with any sweetened beverages or with a pacifier that was dipped in anything sweet.

 

Resources:

CDA – Early Childhood Caries

About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio

Dr. Joseph Salvaggio, DDS

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Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

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