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
185 King Street