CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA, April 10, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Early Childhood Caries, formerly called baby bottle decay, is the most common, chronic progressive, infectious disease in children five years old and younger in North America.
This reality begs the question: why is this happening? Dental caries is the easiest disease to prevent at nearly no expense to the family.
The prevailing belief is that ECC is relatively harmless: if a young child’s teeth are decayed, why fix them when they're going to fall out? But if a child’s mouth is unhealthy, there is a high likelihood the rest of the body is unhealthy as well. The chronic pain, infection, and inflammation caused by ECC can negatively impact a child’s health and development. When treatment for ECC is delayed or denied, children endure toxic stress, which can dramatically alter their brain development. ECC have been linked to addiction, poor impulse and mood control, anxiety, learning disabilities and even impaired memory.
According to Dr. Leonard Smith, early childhood caries must be viewed as a major public health issue, rather than just an oral health issue. Dr. Smith is the founder and president of Healthy Mouth, Healthy Child, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of early childhood caries and educating all professionals who interact with children. With 50 years of experience in the field of dentistry and preventative care, Dr. Smith is a renowned advocate for the oral needs of children.
“ECC is a disease that is about more than just BABY teeth,” says Dr. Smith. “Dental care is about your whole body. The lesson we are teaching is that the mouth is the gateway to the body and if it is not healthy then the rest of the developing body in children will not be healthy either. The ramifications for the child, their family and the entire community are serious and long lasting, so the goal for the foundation is to educate as many people as possible that this disease is totally preventable.”
ECC has been defined as “the presence of 1 or more decayed, missing or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child less than 6 years of age. The disease itself is caused by the ingestion of sugar, whether it's in baby formula, apple juice, or even breast milk. Once known as baby bottle decay, when left untreated, the decay will spread to nerve of the tooth and cause severe pain.
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the incidence of this infectious disease in children between 2 and 5 years of age involves 5 million children in North America and approximately 1.2 million never receive any treatment. Through free clinics, education and research, Healthy Mouth, Healthy Child seeks to educate the children of today about the importance of oral health.
“Teaching prevention based on real evidence is the only way we're going to stop this disease,” says Dr. Smith. “Prevention begins at birth and hygiene continues for the rest of that child's life.”
CUTV News Radio will feature Dr. Leonard Barry Smith in an interview with Doug Llewelyn on April 12nd at 9am EDT.
Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio
If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389.
For more information on Healthy Mouth, Healthy Child, visit www.healthymouthhealthychild.org
Source: EIN Presswire