The stated problem is that Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is the most common chronic disease and causes the loss of millions of hours of school because of the acute and chronic oral health problems associated with it.
Our clinical/managerial question is; in children aged 2-3 years, how does dental education/anticipatory guidance for mothers started during pregnancy or shortly after birth, compare to no education affect ECC or Severe Early Childhood Caries (S-ECC) scores at 16-30 months?
The search for evidence shows that early dental prevention beginning at pregnancy will lead to a lower prevalence of ECC, which will in turn benefit the child’s health and well-being throughout life. Six intervention studies or articles were reviewed
Current recommendations or accepted practice according to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), state that children should be brought in for their first oral examination at the eruption time of their first primary tooth, but no later than at 12 months of age. There is now more evidence that shows we also need to take into consideration functional and developmental aspects of dental education and apply them even earlier.
Critical appraisal of the evidence shows that anticipatory guidance seems to be an effective way to deliver milestone-related dental education to parents during pregnancy and soon after to lower the occurrence of ECC.
The clinical practice implications are that ECC is easy to prevent by seeing a dentist regularly, but 50% of children have never visited a dentist, stressing the need for an improved educational delivery system in dentistry.