Early childhood tooth decay

What causes tooth decay?
Numerous specific bacteria living on the teeth cause their decay. On consuming sugar, bacteria depend on it to manufacture acid and dissolve the teeth. This causes an infection called as decay.

What is infant tooth decay?
It is now known as Early Childhood Caries (ECC) or Nursing Caries. Infant decay occurs when babies fall asleep with breast milk, formula or juice from a bottle on their teeth. As babies are not able to clear the pooling liquid from their mouths, it results into decay. If sugar in the formula, milk or juice stays in touch with the teeth for a long time, during the night, or while sleeping, the teeth decay rapidly.

Tips to avoid Early Childhood Caries:

  • Brush your baby’s teeth at least twice a day.
  • Put your child to bed with a bottle of plain water, not milk or juice.
  • Stop nursing when your child is asleep and wipe the teeth with a clean washcloth.
  • Try not to let your child walk around using a bottle or sipper cup of milk or juice as a pacifier.
  • Start teaching your child to drink from a cup at about six months of age. Plan to stop using a bottle by twelve to fourteen months at the latest.
  • Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar.
  • Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar.