Dental caries is the most prevalent of chronic oral conditions. We investigated child and parental factors associated with early childhood caries (ECC) in 17- to 23-month-old children in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Of the 61,714 children who underwent a health examination at 18 months of age, 54,206 (27,860 males, 26,346 females) were included in the analysis. The parents of the children completed a self-administered questionnaire comprising items related to the child’s eating habits and lifestyle and the parent’s lifestyle and childcare factors. Logistic regression analyses were performed using ECC as the dependent variable, and odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. The prevalence of ECC was 0.8%. In the multivariate analysis, children who consumed sweetened beverages daily and snacked frequently had significantly higher ORs for ECC: 1.29 (95% CI: 1.05–1.59) and 1.49 (95% CI: 1.15–1.91), respectively. Bedtime breastfeeding and bottle-feeding were significantly associated with higher ORs for ECC: 4.88 (95% CI: 4.01–5.94) and 2.31 (95% CI: 1.72–3.10), respectively. Not eating breakfast daily and late bedtime were associated with high ORs for ECC: 1.41 (95% CI: 1.02–1.96) and 1.31 (95% CI: 1.05–1.64), respectively. The OR for ECC was significantly higher in children whose father was a smoker than in those whose father was not: 1.44 (95% CI: 1.18–1.76). The OR for ECC was significantly higher in children with no childcare adviser than in those with a childcare adviser: 1.67 (95% CI: 1.06–2.65). Children who had not been vaccinated had a significantly higher OR for ECC compared to children who had: 1.49 (95% CI: 1.14–1.94). These results imply the importance of enhancing parental guidance on the lifestyle habits of children and creating an environment in which parents can consult with others regarding parenting.

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