Dental caries, Pediatric oral health



  1. Yost, Jennifer MA, RN
  2. Li, Yihong DrPH, MPH, DDS


Early childhood caries (ECC) is the single most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Associated with a characteristic clinical presentation, ECC results from a culmination of risk factors, including cariogenic bacteria, inappropriate feeding practices, and social variables. It is essential that nurses become knowledgeable about ECC health promotion and prevention interventions to facilitate their efforts in everyday patient encounters and improve the overall oral health status of infants and children. This article provides an overview of ECC along with suggestions for actions that nurses can take to improve the oral health of children.