A recent Miami Herald article reminds us of the significant challenges that Florida faces from Early Childhood Caries (ECC) — tooth decay among children ages 0-5. A physician at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital told the newspaper: “It is not unusual for us to take a patient 12 months of age to the operating room that has already been affected by cavities.” A new website called EndCavities.org provides helpful resources that oral health advocates in Florida can use to raise awareness of this preventable problem.
EndCavities.org, created by the Children’s Dental Health Project, seeks to support the efforts of oral health advocates, physicians and dentists to change the conversation about ECC. The objective is to help families recognize that tooth decay is the consequence of a disease process.
The website provides talking points, fact sheets and other content to stress the importance of prevention, as well as keeping any early signs of decay from progressing to cavities. In an EndCavities.org video, Dr. Burton Edelstein of Columbia University explains why it’s a mistake to treat decay without addressing the underlying disease.
EndCavities.org promotes a coordinated system of care that involves a wide range of stakeholders, including dentists, pediatricians, community health workers and WIC staff. This infographic creates an overview of what this coordinated system looks like.