Early Childhood Caries

Early Childhood Caries (ECC)

Parents/carers of infants should be particularly educated about the dangers of putting fruit juices and sugar-sweetened drinks into feeding bottles or reservoir feeders and giving these to the baby/toddler, especially when they are being put to bed. Such practices result in almost continuous bathing of the teeth with sugars and lead to severe and rapid tooth destruction – a condition described as Early Childhood Caries (ECC) and often referred to as “baby bottle decay”.

Any sign of tooth decay in a child under the age of 3 years is described as Severe Early Childhood Caries (S-ECC) and should be brought to the attention of a dentist.

  • Do make sure that your child does not sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth.
  • Do avoid all sugar-containing liquids in the nap or bedtime bottle.
  • Do encourage drinking from a cup.
  • Do discontinue bottle feeding by your child’s first birthday.
  • Do avoid dipping a soother in sugar, honey or anything sweet before giving it to your child.
  • Do encourage a varied diet in line with healthy eating recommendations.

"Children should be fed and put to bed - NOT, put to bed and fed"

This condition is preventable