Background: This paper is a summary of the proceedings of the International Association of Paediatric Dentistry Bangkok Conference on early childhood caries (ECC) held in 3-4 November 2018. Aim: The paper aims to convey a global perspective of ECC definitions, aetiology, risk factors, societal costs, management, educational curriculum, and policy. Design: This global perspective on ECC is the compilation of the state of science, current concepts, and literature regarding ECC from worldwide experts on ECC. Results: Early childhood caries is related to frequent sugar consumption in an environment of enamel adherent, acid-producing bacteria in a complex biofilm, as well as developmental defects of enamel. The seriousness, societal costs, and impact on quality of life of dental caries in pre-school children are enormous. Worldwide data show that ECC continues to be highly prevalent, yet infrequently treated. Approaches to reduce the prevalence include interventions that start in the first year of a child's life, evidence-based and risk-based management, and reimbursement systems that foster preventive care. Conclusions: This global perspective on ECC epidemiology, aetiology, risk assessment, global impact, and management is aimed to foster improved worldwide understanding and management of ECC.
- early childhood caries
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