Thursday, May 7, 2020

Early Childhood Caries

Early childhood caries occurs in young children who frequently suck on bottles/dummies of fluid containing sugars. Frequent intake of biscuits is another cause. Some of the caries causing bacteria can even be transferred from the mother to the child through kissing and food tasting. Extended use of medicines with high sugar content, especially just before bedtime can also cause caries. The upper front teeth are most likely to decay, though other teeth may also be affected . 

Preventive measures


Breast–feeding is preferred. It is nutritious and provides immunity to fight disease.

·       If bottle-feeding is necessary, the bottle with milk or other sweetened fluids should be used for regular feeding of the child, not as a pacifier in between feeds

·       If the child needs fluids in between regular feeds, or when going off to sleep, plain water should be used. The water must be boiled and cooled.

·       If the child won’t settle to sleep without a bottle of milk, the bottle must be removed as soon as he/she falls asleep and the teeth and gums cleaned with dampened cloth.

·       Only clean, unsweetened dummies should be used

·       The child must be encouraged to drink from a cup from around 6 months of age and weaned from the bottle by 12 months of age


·       Cleaning of teeth must start as soon as they appear in the mouth. Initially, the child’s teeth should be cleaned every day by wiping them with a piece of gauze or a clean damp washcloth. Later, when all the incisors have erupted, a soft-bristled toothbrush, with a small head can be used.

·       Only a smear of fluoride toothpaste should be dispensed onto the toothbrush, (or chewing stick) by parents

·       Toothbrushing should be done under the supervision of parents, every morning after breakfast and before bed at night, at least under the age of nine. Brushing the child’s teeth is easier with the parent standing behind the child.

·       Children should be discouraged from eating or swallowing toothpaste

·       Children should be encouraged to spit the toothpaste out and not rinse after brushing

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Oral health program- Okhaldhunga

Dental caries is one of the most prevalent childhood diseases in Nepal, especially in the young children. Most of the dental caries are not ...