It is evident from the number of published scientific papers on Early Childhood Caries (ECC) that interest in this problem
has grown in recent years. Many authors have been trying to devise a clear definition or classification for ECC. The aim of this review
was to inventory the prevalence of ECC and to seek a consensus regarding definition and diagnosis. Further attention was paid to the
aetiological factors including the role of microrganisms. Finally, education, parenting and treatment procedures were discussed.
For this review, epidemiological studies on caries prevalence in children aged between 0 and 36 months were compiled
through a systematic approach using Medline. REVIEW: This clearly showed that ECC continues to be a serious public health problem
and that there is a great variety of definitions and diagnoses used worldwide, reflected in the prevalence data. This review confirms the
multicausal aetiology and the need for further research. The authors strongly support the recommendations formulated at the workshop
in Bethesda 1999, and the policy statements by the AAPD.
More efforts should be made to reach the high risk groups
within populations, in order to reduce the prevalence of ECC and S-ECC (Severe Early Childhood Caries) and consequently to
ameliorate the quality of life of these children. Long-term intervention studies are required for the evaluation of these efforts.
Vol.5 – n.2/2004
Harvard: A. De Grauwe, J. K. Aps, L. C. Martens (2004) "Early Childhood Caries (ECC): what's in a name?", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 5(2), pp62-70. doi:
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