Early childhood caries - how to recognize and prevent it?

Early childhood caries - how to recognize and prevent it?

Tooth Decay for kids, learn with Medstom about the causes of caries in early childhood and what are the Indications of dental caries for Kids

Tooth Decay for kids.

Caries is the most common chronic disease. In children, the first caries usually appears at the end of the third year, and most often affects the molars. There is a special group of caries that occurs from 1 to 3 years and in atypical places. These are carious processes that affect the outer surface of the upper incisors, but in more severe forms it can cover the entire deciduous dentition. They occur quickly and often lead to the destruction of the entire crown of the tooth. These are called early childhood caries or pacifier syndrome.

The reason for its occurrence may be a congenital anomaly in the structure of the enamel, which makes it more susceptible to carious processes.

More often the causes of caries in early childhood are behavioral and are expressed in:

  • Prolonged night breastfeeding after 12 months of age and letting the baby fall asleep on the breast;
  • Prolonged night feeding with sweetened milk;
  • Giving a sweetened pacifier;
  • Frequent use of juices;
  • Poor oral hygiene.

Indications of dental caries for Kids.

Indications of dental caries for Kids

The first clinical signs are the appearance of white spots on the outer surface of the upper incisors. This stage is reversible, but unfortunately it is often missed. If you do not pay attention, the process progresses - the destruction of the enamel in the area of ​​the neck of the teeth is noticed, and subsequently the entire crown is affected. Parents often report that their teeth began to crumble soon after they erupted completely.

The involvement of the upper incisors is explained by the fact that during breastfeeding or feeding they are poured directly from the milk and there are no self-cleaning mechanisms. If the causes are not removed, the other teeth are also affected - only the lower incisors remain intact, because the tongue protects them and is constantly drenched in saliva.

Initially, the process is asymptomatic, but as it progresses, it can reach the nerve of the tooth and cause pain and swelling. The destruction of the upper incisors, in addition to impaired aesthetics, also leads to problems with phonetics and a change in the bite. Therefore, in case of doubt or first signs, it is necessary to consult a pediatric dentist.

The treatment consists of two aspects. The first is by the pediatric dentist and is expressed in the treatment of existing carious defects (reversible and irreversible), remineralization and advice to modulate behavior. The second aspect is performed by the parents and has more weight:

  • Elimination of night breastfeeding and feeding after 12 months of age;
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene;
  • Reducing the intake of juices and "simple sugars" (lollipops, candies, etc.);
  • Avoiding licking of children's utensils in order not to transmit cariogenic bacteria, etc.

 As treatment is a long process, parents need to be patient and cooperate, taking the child for regular check-ups. Only when good communication is established between parents and the pediatric dentist can caries in early childhood be prevented or limited.


Dental Clinic Medstom

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