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Early Childhood Caries: a Silent Epidemic

What is Early Childhood Caries?

It is a term used by pediatric dentists to describe an unusually high cavity activity in young children under age 6. It used to be called Baby Bottle Syndrome. Canadian Institute for Health published a report to recognize and address this growing problem in Canada. To read the full report, please visit Canadian Institute for Health Information here.

Early Childhood Caries is the most common chronic infectious disease in children under five years of age

Cavities in children are a silent epidemic. It is heartbreaking to see so many children on a daily basis with rampant cavities. Cavities in children is five times more common than asthma.

Early Childhood Caries is the most common reason for day surgery in Canada

Approximately 2,490 children underwent dental surgery in 2012 in a BC hospital including BC Children’s Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, etc. This is just a small sample of the true number of dental surgery, as many more children receive dental treatment at private surgery centers and these numbers are not reported.

Percentage of Dental Surgery

What Can I do?

All children should be seen by a dentist by age 1 to prevent Early Childhood Caries. Prevention is key. Unfortunately, some general dentists incorrectly inform families that the first dental check-up can wait until the child is three or four. If your dentist is not comfortable seeing young children, find a pediatric dentist. Click here to learn about 7 Reasons to See a Pediatric Dentist.

Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley in Beautiful British Columbia.