What is Early Childhood Caries or ECC?
Early Childhood Caries or ECC is defined as the presence of one or more decayed teeth (cavities or caries) in children less than 6 years of age.
What Causes Early Childhood Caries?
It happens when liquids and foods that contain sugar, like milk and juice, are left in your child's mouth for many hours. Bacteria love sugar and use it to make acids that, overtime, destroy your child's teeth. It can also be caused due to insufficient cleaning of baby’s teeth by their parents. Sleep time feeding in infants after the eruption of teeth can also increase the risk of ECC.
How To Identify The Early Changes of ECC And How Does Early Childhood Caries Look Like?
Early childhood caries are cavities that most often show up on a child's upper front teeth but can also affect other teeth. It first shows up as white spots near the gum line. Parent should do lift the lip examination to identify the early lesion. Pediatric dentist will guide you how to identify.
What Are The Risk Factors For Associated With ECC?
Diet and sleep time feeding practices play an important role in acquisition of the infection and development of caries. Factors such as high sugar intake, lack of oral hygiene, lack of fluoride exposure, and enamel defects are some of the major factors responsible for the development of ECC.
What Happens If Children Have Too Many Cavities? Does It Lead To Any Health Issues?
Presence of ECC can affect your child’s health in various ways. The child can have problems like difficulty to eat hard chewable food items, sensitivity to sweets, cold and hot foods. Usually in severe cases, the child will resist brushing due to severe sensitivity. Child can even cry due to extreme sensitivity caused by any thermal (Cold drinks, food and air) and physical (Brushing, chewing foods) changes. If left untreated, child can develop pain, gum boils, pus formation, cheek swelling, fever and frequent episodes of cold and cough. Child can also have interrupted sleep due to frequent sensitivity and pain. Many affected children may develop low self esteem due to damaged front tooth. The child may tend to hide their front teeth while smiling or laughing. Thus, ECC can cause “poor quality” of life in affected children
Will The Treatment Change Your Child’s Health?
Definitely yes. You can observe overall improvement in your child's quality of life often after 1-2 week post treatment. Above all, your child will be free of any infection and a beautiful smile.
What Happen If We Don’t Treat Immediately? What If We Do It After 6 Months Once The Child Is Bigger?
Early Childhood Caries is an infectious disease and spreads faster to other teeth. Most often the severity of the disease increases rapidly if untreated. Moreover, milk teeth has thinner enamel and dentin. Thus, the infection travels faster into the pulp and can cause pain and swelling. Very often even in a short span of 6 months the child's entire treatment plan can change if left untreated.
How Can Parents Reduce The Risk of Developing ECC To Their Children?
ECC is preventable infectious microbial disease. In order to reduce the risk of developing ECC. The first dental visit of the child should be scheduled at their eruption of first tooth or first birthday whichever comes earlier. Pediatric dentist will provide instruction regarding feeding and diet practices and demonstrate infant oral care measures and also provide anticipatory guidance.
Can Dental Decay/ECC Can Be Reversed?
Yes, if parent can notice the early changes in their child’s teeth in form of white/yellow brown spots in the enamel (non-cavitated), and should report to pediatric dentist without any further delay. Tooth decay can be stopped or reversed at this point. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva, and fluoride from professional application and other sources (tooth paste). Pediatric dentist can guide you to reverse the condition.
Why Should You Consider Us For Your Children Dental Treatment?
Pedo planet – Children’sDental Center is one of India’s largest and the oldest rehabilitation centre for ECC. With more than 20 years of experience and 1000 plus successful rehabilitation, our team has the best experienced pediatric dentist and anaesthetist doctors. Our day care hospital stay is the shortest in the country. We use world class dental materials for full mouth rehabilitation both on the chair side and under General Anaesthesia (GA). Our goal is to provide your child a healthy smile and a better quality of life.