Early childhood caries, formerly known as nursing bottle caries is a disease that affects teeth in children aged between birth and 71 months.
WHAT CAUSES EARLY CHILD HOOD 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.
TYPES OF EARLY CHILDHOOD CARIES
• TYPE 1[MILD TO MODERATE] AGE ; 2-5 YEARS
• Carious lesion involving molars and incisors
• Cause-a combination of solid food or semisolid food and lack of oral hygiene.
• TYPE 2 (MODERATE TO SEVERE)
• Carious lesions invoving maxillary incisors, with or without molars
• Cause – combination of inappropriate use of feeding bottle or breast feeding with poor oral hygiene.
• Type 3( severe) ; 3-5 years
• Carious lesion affecting almost all of the teeth including the lower incisors
• Simple Ways to Prevent Early Childhood Caries
• One of the easiest ways to prevent caries is not putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with milk, formula, juice or other sweet liquids. If your child must have a bottle to go to sleep, slowly dilute the milk or juice with water over a few weeks until your child is only drinking water only giving your child a bottle during meals. Do not allow your child to walk around with it or drink from it throughout the day.
• Adopting a healthy balanced diet for your child and limit starchy, sugary snacks and sugary drinks.
• Cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft toothbrush or cloth and water starting at birth. Once their first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush twice a day. Use a “smear” of toothpaste if your child is under two years of age and a “pea-size” amount if they are between two and five years of age. The use of fluoridated toothpaste is dictated by your child’s caries risk, as determined by the dental or medical provider.
• Not dipping pacifiers in any sweetened liquid.
• Remember, baby teeth are very important for speaking and chewing. If early childhood caries causes your child to lose teeth too early, your child’s permanent teeth may come in crooked or crowded. By following these suggestions today, you can help your child start a lifetime of good dental habits.