Dental Caries

Dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood from ages 6 to 19.

Dental caries is largely preventable.

Caries destroy tooth structure leading to infection, pain, and loss of chewing function.

Early Childhood Caries is an aggressive form of caries in children under 6 years of age. ECC was once called "nursing caries" or "baby bottle tooth decay."


  • Influenced by socioeconomic status, feeding habits, access to dental care, fluoride exposure, and family caries experience.

Progression of ECC

  • Upper front teeth that are least protected by saliva are affected first.
  • Disease moves posteriorly as teeth emerge

Severe Early Childhood Caries

Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS
Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS
Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS


Policy on Early Childhood Caries (ECC): Classifications, Consequences, and Preventive Strategies. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Council on Clinical Affairs. 2016. 59-61.