Early Childhood Caries (ECC)

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The mineral loss that occurs in the tooth with the participation of saliva by the plaque is called caries. Early childhood caries (ECC) disease is defined as the condition in which 1 or more caries, lost teeth due to caries, or filled teeth are present in the primary teeth of children 71 months of age or younger.
ECC is a very dangerous form of caries, it starts after the eruption of the teeth, develops on flat surfaces, progresses rapidly and leaves a lasting effect on the teeth. Caries that affect milk teeth in children also cause decay of permanent teeth. ECC does not only affect the teeth, it affects the whole health in terms of its results. Children with ECC show slower development than those without. Some of the children with ECC are below the required weight because the child’s desire to eat decreases due to pain.
Families should be informed that they should clean their babies’ teeth after breastfeeding or after a bottle, by wiping them with a piece of clean cheesecloth, and repeating this process after giving them drugs in the form of syrup containing sugar. If they put their children to sleep with a bottle during the day or night, it should be said that they should not put liquid foods containing sugar in the bottle and that the best approach is not to give the baby a bottle at bedtime. In addition, the child should not be allowed to fall asleep while breastfeeding or with a bottle, and the bottle should not be used as a pacifier. Sucking is a natural instinct for all babies. After the baby is full
It should be noted that a pacifier or a bottle containing only water can be given if they still need to suckle afterward. For bottle fed babies, it should be recommended not to give milk or sweet drinks to the baby at bedtime, not to feed the baby for more than 30 minutes during sleep, not to use the bottle as a pacifier, and to use glasses for other liquids after the age of 1 year. For breastfed babies, the feeding time should not be more than 30 minutes, the baby should not sleep while breastfeeding and the baby should be avoided from feeding at frequent intervals.

Although ECC is an important health problem, it is not emphasized much because the primary teeth are temporary in the mouth and their importance is not known enough. Untreated ECC causes speech disorders, learning and eating problems as a result of pain and infection. Early deciduous tooth loss due to EÇC negatively affects growth and development,
It causes orthodontic problems, aesthetic and psychological problems.

If very young children have not acquired protective habits adequately and ECC has developed in these children, the therapeutic approach should be applied by a specialist dentist,
because the treatment of ECC may be specific for each patient due to the aggressive nature of the disease.

Written by Doctor Hande İLGİN