Early Childhood Caries (ECC)

ECC begins usually soon after tooth eruption and can be a predominantly virulent form of caries. It usually affects children that come from a low socioeconomic status that consume a high sugar content diet whose caregivers/mother have a low educational level. Preventive strategies and appropriate therapeutic interventions guided by oral health risk assessments should be utilized by the dental professional in order to educate the mother and assist with the prevention and treatment of disease for children at higher risk for developing infections.

It develops in smooth surfaces and progresses rapidly. There is usually a pattern seen in this disease in which affects - maxillary anteriormaxillary posteriormandibular postmandibular anteriors. It can be considered a particularly virulent form of caries.

The mandibular anteriors are protected by the tongue.

Figure 11.Initial white decalcification of the anterior teeth.
white decalcification

Children with significant levels of MS, and any level of lactobacilli are at a higher risk. It affects the general population but is 32 times more likely to occur in infants who are of low socioeconomic status, who consume diets high in sugar and whose mothers have a low educational level.

Frequent bottle-feeding at night, ad-lib breast-feeding, and extended and repetitive use of sippy/training cups are associated with ECC.

Figure 12. Late or severe form of ECC.
white decalcification
ECC can have a lasting and detrimental impact on dentition.