Early Childhood Caries Impact Factor

 Early childhood caries are cavities that most often show up on a child’s upper front teeth but can also affect other teeth.  It first shows up as white spots near the gum line. According to studies chief of pediatric dentistry in the Division of Dentistry and Orthodontics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, these spots are hard to see at first, but if caught early can be stopped from progressing into cavities. As it gets worse, they can look like brown spots, holes or broken teeth which will require more involved procedures to fix. It is very important to get treatment early to stop the decay from getting worse. It happens when liquids and foods that contain sugar, like milk and juice, are left in your child’s mouth for many hours. Bacteria love sugar and use it to make acids that, overtime, destroy your child’s teeth. “These and other factors involved, such as the frequency of feedings, oral hygiene, medications, other medical and dental conditions, determine your child’s caries risk, or the likelihood that he or she will develop caries. One of the easiest ways to prevent caries is not putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with milk, formula, juice or other sweet liquids. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most children who are seven or eight months of age no longer need to feed during the night. Also, giving your child a bottle while they are lying down may place them at risk for getting ear infections. If your child must have a bottle to go to sleep, slowly dilute the milk or juice with water over a few weeks until your child is only drinking water.  

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