Thoughts From The Therapist - Early Childhood Caries
"Early Childhood Caries" (ECC) is defined as the presence of one or more decay (holes), missing (due to decay) or filled tooth surfaces in any baby tooth under the age of six. The term "Severe Early Childhood Caries" refers to rampant patterns of dental decay. ECC is a serious issue in Australia and is present in up to 50% of the Australian population. Children with ECC are more likely to have decay on their permanent teeth. To prevent Early Childhood Caries, parents should follow the following tips:
• Scheduling the child's first dental visit within six months of eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age
• Receiving oral health education based on the child's developmental needs
• Parents should help their children to brush/check their teeth
• Children should brush their teeth twice a day
• Keep their children's consumption of sugary food/drink (including soft drink, juice, sports drink, cordials) to minimum
• When babies are born, their mouths are "sterile" from decay causing bacteria. Because these bacteria are transmitted from their parents, expectant parents are encouraged to visit a dentist before the birth of their children to ensure they have good oral hygiene, thus less decay causing bacteria in their mouths.
• Bottle feeding before bed can cause series decay. Children should not be given sugary/ milk in bed and teeth should always be brushed before bed.
• Children should be encouraged to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
If you would like more information, be sure to book your child in to see one of our lovely Oral Health Therapists.