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Early Childhood Cavities Prevention

Early childhood cavities, which includes baby bottle tooth decay, is an infectious disease that can be prevented. In Oregon, approximately two-thirds of children from low-income families 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.

The Oregon WIC brochure, "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.

Prevent early childhood cavities.PNG

Download a pdf version of the brochure. A Spanish version is also available.

First Tooth: Preventing Early Childhood Caries Through Medical and Dental Provider Education and Collaboration

The Oregon Oral Health Unit in collaboration with the Oregon Oral Health Coalition's (OROHC) Early Childhood Cavities Prevention Committee (ECCP) launched a three-year workforce development project in 2009 called “First Tooth” with a goal to reduce early childhood caries in Oregon. First Tooth provides no-cost continuing education training for medical and dental providers to implement preventive oral health services for infants and toddlers ages three and under.

First Tooth is a two-phase project. In Phase I, the curriculum, training tools, delivery and technical assistance were piloted and tested. Currently in year two and Phase II, the project is expanding outreach and training statewide.

To learn more about First Tooth, please visit their comprehensive resource and training website.