Early Chilhood Caries

Solagh, Alaa, Wasan Anwar, and Zahraa Solagh

The purpose of this presentation is to define early childhood caries and to discuss the causes and prevention.

The disease of ECC has been defined by American Academy of Pediatrics as the presence of one or more decayed noncavitated or cavitated lesion. Caries is a common complex chronic disease resulting from an imbalance of multiple risk factors and protective factors over times. In children younger than 3 years of age any sign of smooth surface caries is indicative of severe early childhood caries (S-ECC).There are multiple etiological factors that are involved in dental caries such as cariogenic microorganisms, fermentable carbohydrates, and salivary flow rate related to pH buffering capacity and time.

Early childhood caries can be prevented by different ways such as educating mothers about early childhood caries, low sugar diet, consuming fluoridated water, visiting dentist on the regular basis, and proper oral hygiene technique.


            Early childhood carries has been a major public health problem over many years. Many children experience early childhood caries under the age of 3. Early childhood carries occurs when there are microorganisms on tooth surface in an acidic environment. There are many methods to prevent early childhood caries such as parent’s education, home care products, and regular dental visit. Finding a dental home by starting first visit at 12 month of age. Mother oral health during and after pregnancy is also important.