banner dental

Early Childhood Tooth Decay (ECTD)

What is it?

  • A rapid form of tooth decay that affects baby teeth and requires immediate treatment
  • Upper front teeth are usually the first teeth to show signs of decay

Who does it affect?

  • Toddlers/Preschoolers ages 1 – 4

What is the cause?

  • Prolonged and frequent feeding times
  • Hidden sugars in formula, breast and cow’s milk, fruit juices, sweetened drinks
  • Baby taking a bottle or sippy cup with any of the above liquids to bed

What are the consequences?

  • If left untreated, decay can spread to every tooth in the mouth
  • Treatment is costly and difficult
  • Adult teeth may become affected
  • May result in the need for braces

How is it prevented?

  • Regular cleaning of baby’s mouth and teeth with a washcloth or small piece of gauze
  • Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle/sippy cup. Comfort bottles/sippy cups taken to bed should contain only water

What if I think my child has ECTD?

  • Take your child to a dentist
  • If you cannot afford a dental visit, call or visit to see if your child is eligible for treatment at no cost to you

Check out this great video from Grey Bruce Health Unit:

Community Dental Health Clinic

Jackson Square
185 King Street
Phone: 705-748-2230
Text: 705-868-5171