Risk Factors for Development of Early Childhood Caries

1. Child sleeps with a bottle containing anything other than water.

2. Child consumes 3 or more sweet or sticky snacks per day.

3. Child has visible plaque on upper front teeth usually at the gum-line.

4. Parents do not brush the child's teeth for 4 minutes at least once per day.

5. Siblings have had decay.

6. Child drinks low-fluoride water and doesn't receive fluoride supplements.

For decay to occur certain, specific types of bacteria need to infect a child's mouth. Once infected, a person will likely remain infected with this bacterial their entire life. In a single human mouth, there are usually more bacteria than there are people in the entire world. Usually the transmission of these bacteria are from mothers and by the time a child reaches adolescence, the mouth will harbour more than 400 different species of microbes—mostly bacteria.