Moffitt Restorative Dentistry

Early Childhood Caries

Oct 13 2016

Tooth decay is the most common early childhood disease. When left untreated, caries can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, hospitalization, and an increase threat of decay to permanent teeth. Studies have indicated that three factors play a significant role in preventing early childhood caries, regular dental visits, thorough oral hygiene with fluoride exposure, and a diet low in fermentable carbohydrate foods and drink.
It has been found that even while in utero the child can be affected by the mothers diet. Pregnant women with higher levels of vitamin D (greater than 75 nmol/L)have correlated with a lower rate of caries in their children. Mothers that consume a diet rich in cheese have also been related to a reduction in early childhood decay.
Fermentable carbohydrate intake should be monitored in relation to the frequency and timing of consumption. It is important to consider the amount of time the food or drink is in contact with the teeth. “Snack all day and get decay” is a commonly used rhyme to be vigilant in monitoring the intake of carbohydrates in children. Having juice or milk at a meal is acceptable, however allowing a child to have anything but water to sip between meals can increase risk of decay.

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