Dietary intake and early childhood caries


Early childhood caries (ECC) affect children less than 71 months of age (1) and it represents a public health problem in countries worldwide (2–4). The mean ECC prevalence in United Nations Countries was 23.8% in children younger than 36 months and 57.3% in children aged 36 to 71 months. East Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean were the worst affected by ECC among children aged 36 to 71 months (5).

Dental caries pertains to a group of diseases that are estimated “complex” or “multifactorial,” with no single origin pathway (6) and it is resulted by the interaction of bacteria, mainly Streptococci mutans (SM) and  actobacilli (LB), and sugary foods on tooth enamel (6,7). Additionally, there must be a lack of oral hygiene and lack of use of fluoride (8).


  • Lina María Villegas
  • Judy Elena Villavicencio
  • Adolfo Contreras


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1. American Academy on Pediatric Dentistry; American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy on Early Childhood Caries (ECC): Classifications, Consequences, and Preventive Strategies. Oral Heal Policies. 30(7):40-3.
2. Ministerio de Salud y Seguridad Social. IV Encuesta de salud oral Nacional. (ENSAB IV): Situación de la salud oral; 2014. p. 300.
3. Brasılia M da S. Projeto SB Brasil 2010: Pesquisa Nacional de Saude Bucal - Resultados Principais (SB Brazil Project 2010: National Survey of Oral Health): 2011. p. 118.
4. Bernabé E, Flaxman A, Naghavi M, Lopez A, Murray CJL. Global Burden of Oral Conditions in 1990-2010 : A Systematic Analysis. J Dent Res. 2013;92(7):592-7.
5. Tantawi M El, Folayan MO, Mehaina M, Vukovic A, Castillo JL, Gaffar BO, et al. Prevalence and Data Availability of Early Childhood Caries in 193 United Nations Countries , 2007-2017. 2018;1-7.
6. Philip N, Suneja B, Walsh LJ. Ecological Approaches to Dental Caries Prevention: Paradigm Shift or Shibboleth? Caries Res. 2018;52(1-2):153-65.
7. Breda J, Keller A. The Importance of the World Health Organization Sugar Guidelines for Dental Health and Obesity Prevention.Caries Res. 2019;53:149-52.
8. WHO, FDI, IADR CSA. The Beijing declaration: call to action to promote oral health by using fluoride in China and Southeast Asia.;2007.
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