Determinants of health in children and the problem of early childhood caries

Pediatr Dent. Jul-Aug 2003;25(4):328-33.


Early childhood caries (ECC) is a significant dental problem for many low-income and minority children in the United States. The diagnosis, prevention, and management of ECC have been based upon both experiential knowledge and scientific evidence. In the prevention and management of ECC, the focus has been on modifying the dental, infectious, and behavioral determinants of the disease. The purpose of this concept paper is to expand the paradigm used to understand the etiology of ECC and design programs to prevent and manage this condition.

MeSH terms

  • Cariostatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child Advocacy
  • Child Care
  • Child Welfare*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Care for Children
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis
  • Dental Caries / etiology*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Minority Groups
  • Poverty
  • Program Development
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Social Environment


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Fluorides