The Dangers Of ECC In Children And Teens

Dentist Blog

It is imperative to treat oral health problems as soon as expected in young children and teens. One of the most prevalent oral health problems today is Early Childhood Caries - ECC. This tooth disease is prominent in infants and young children between 2-5 years old. Teens can also have this disease, although it is not as common.

What is Early Childhood Caries?

ECC is a severe form of tooth decay for infants and young children. The American Dental Association states that newborn babies and children up to 71 months old get this disease. The disease stems from poor feeding habits that are passed to children from their parents. It can also be transmitted from a mother with the untreated dental disease to her child.

Normally, most teens have good enough hygiene habits to keep from developing tooth decay. Even though this is the case, there are some young adults that have ECC. They primarily get it from consuming too many sugary foods or they had contracted this disease in their childhood but never had it treated.

Poor Feeding Habits and ECC

Parents often give their children bottles without cleaning their mouths afterward. Many of the substances that are given to children sit inside of a child's mouth after they are fed. When breast milk, infant formula, and fruit juice is not cleaned from a baby's teeth, it begins to develop bacteria that eventually starts the decaying process. Once this process has started, it's hard to treat. So, visiting a dentist on a regular basis is necessary for the prevention of this disease.

How to Tell if a Child has ECC

A parent should check their infant's gum line for a white line every day as this is an indication of ECC. Once a child's primary teeth start to develop, parents must lift their child's lips and inspect the teeth. They should look for white spots on their children's teeth and if they are present, then a parent must get their child to a dentist as soon as possible for treatment.

Treatment Strategies for ECC

Children that have been diagnosed with ECC can develop a serious illness, infection, and experience constant pain in their mouths. Just as adults experience a variety of systematic diseases with poor oral health problems, so too do children. If left untreated, ECC could prohibit weight gain, create speech developmental problems, cause learning development issues, and induce eating problems. Early Childhood Caries is a serious disease that should not be overlooked.

Dentists and physicians at offices like the Glendale Dental Group use various treatment options to stop the development of lesions. They often evaluate a mother's dental health during the pregnancy stage to determine if she has any issues that can be passed on to her newborn. Varnish applications and diet modifications are two of the primary ways that this disease is kept under control.

ECC is treatable, and parents should not avoid taking action once they realize their child has this condition.  


22 May 2015

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