Caries is a biofilm (plaque)-induced acid demineralization of enamel or dentin, mediated by saliva. The disease of early childhood caries (ECC) is the presence of 1 or more decayed (non-cavitated or cavitated lesions), missing (due to caries), or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child 71 months of age or younger. In children younger than 3 years of age, any sign of smooth-surface caries is indicative of severe early childhood caries (S-ECC). From ages 3 through 5, 1 or more cavitated, missing (due to caries), or filled smooth surfaces in primary maxillary anterior teeth or a decayed, missing, or filled score of ≥4 (age 3), ≥5 (age 4), or ≥6 (age 5) surfaces constitutes S-ECC.*

(ECC) is a serious public health problem in both developing and industrialized countries. ECC can begin early in life, progresses rapidly in those who are at high risk, and often goes untreated. Its consequences can affect the immediate and long-term quality of life of the child’s family and can have significant social and economic consequences beyond the immediate family as well. ECC can be a particularly virulent form of caries, beginning soon after dental eruption, developing on smooth surfaces, progressing rapidly, and having a lasting detrimental impact on the dentition. Children experiencing caries as infants or toddlers have a much greater probability of subsequent caries in both the primary and permanent dentitions.**

Our dental mindmap lists the following points:

  • Definition
  • Risk Factors
  • Diagnosis




Mindmap created for by:
Dr. Weam Banjar


*American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

**Early childhood caries update: A review of causes, diagnoses, and treatments

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