Early childhood cavities, which includes baby bottle tooth decay, is an infectious disease that can be prevented. In Oregon, approximately two-thirds of low-income children have cavities. This is an amount approximately 40% higher than for children that are not in low-income families.
Early Childhood Cavities Prevention (ECCP) is a nationwide campaign to increase awareness about the importance of preventive oral health care in an infant's first years.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
It's never too early to prevent dental disease. Primary (baby) teeth are important because they act as placeholders for permanent teeth, aid in proper speech development, nutrition, and self esteem. Cavities can occur in children less than a year old.
Our newly revised brochure, "Keep your baby smiling... Prevent early childhood cavities," provides useful information about the importance of healthy baby teeth and recommendations to prevent cavities. This colorful and easy to read brochure replaces the popular "Prevent Nursing Bottle Mouth" brochure. This brochure is geared towards parents and caregivers and is appropriate for use in medical, dental, and other social service or public health offices.
During the 85th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, Forsyth Institute scientists reported that they have developed an effective program for eliminating cavities. This program, called ForsythKids, is an innovative school-based cavity prevention program, which provides elementary school children with oral health education, dental exams, cleanings and preventive care. For children enrolled in the program, one round of treatment reduced new cavities by 50%. After two rounds of the Forsyth model of prevention there was virtually no new tooth decay.
ForsythKids confronts one of today's most pressing oral health challenges: delivering effective oral health care to children at risk of decay. The goal of the program is to increase access and improve health, while creating a model that can be replicated in any community. The elementary school children enrolled in ForsythKids receive a dental exam, tooth cleaning, preventive care consisting of sealants, fluoride, temporary fillings when necessary, and oral health education two times a year without ever leaving their school.
The ForsythKids program began as a pilot in two elementary schools in each of three Massachusetts communities: Lynn, Hyannis and Boston. Today, the ForsythKids program is also being rolled out in ten additional communities with a goal of reaching 20,000 children by the end of 2007.
When viewed next to the goals set by Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the ForsythKids program has already met and exceeded those goals in a period of 3 years.