Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4

    Exclamation Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    We brought our DD (who is now almost 19 months) for a checkup at a pediatric dentist and they found initial decay of her 4 top front teeth, probably due to enamel defect from birth. She seems to have this defect only in the top 4 front teeth.
    We ended up seeing two pediatric dentists and again her pediatrician about it, and we are quite confused now.
    Her pediatrician suggested to let it be; one dentist gave us a tooth mousse that contains calcium, to strengthen the enamel, with monthly checkups; the second dentist is asking to night wean her and use fluoride paste.
    Needless to say I was puzzled by such discordant approaches (and well... also by the fact that our DD has already decay at such young age...).
    She nurses on demand (most of the "action" taking place at night), eats zero junk food, almost no processed sugar, never used a bottle or a pacifier, drinks mostly water (aside from breast milk), and when she drinks juice it's either from a glass or from a bottle with a straw. Doesn't eat much dried fruit. We take care of her teeth by brushing twice a day (with fluoride free paste).
    So I did some research online, but I found several opinions/possibilities and I'm still not sure of the correct way to go at this point.
    I would really prefer not to night wean her, I would rather go with child-led weaning. But my husband is really pushing for it. And what if he's right?
    We started using fluoride paste, and the mousse. I clean her teeth as well as I can at night after nursing to sleep, but I'm not being successful after each night feed.
    Does anyone have related experiences to share?
    Sorry for the long post... I am really worried... and thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    I think the reason you've gotten such variable advice is that no-one knows for sure what the right course of action is. Your pediatrician is being rather laissez faire, the first dentist is charting a more conservative course, and the second dentist is being very conservative.

    If this were my kid, I personally would do the tooth mousse, the monthly checkups, the fluoride paste, and I would also make sure to keep doing what you're already doing and give only the most limited tastes of sweets, juice, or dried fruit. I would night-wean only if the decay continued to worsen, or if you decide that YOU are ready to night-wean. You might want to consider a partial night-weaning, so that your LO had one longer stretch of time where there was nothing getting on her teeth.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    I'm not sure if it was exactly the same thing (I don't think they used the words "enamel defect"), but when my first daughter was 21 months old, I took her to a pediatric dentist because she had small grooves on both top front teeth that were brownish in colour and I was unable to brush off the brown. What he did was sand the grooves down a bit, and on the worse one he put a sort of fluoride-based filling type thing (it wasn't exactly a cavity but could have become one untreated, and it wasn't a normal filling - I'm afraid I don't know what it was called that he used), and he painted on some fluoride paint thing that I was to brush off at bedtime that day. He said that the grooves were placed such that it looked like they may have been caused by something going on while the teeth were coming in (possibly all-night nursing - he seemed happy to hear that I had just recently night-weaned her). Then he recommended using a TINY bit of fluoridated toothpaste for one of our daily brushings (I chose night-time). And also recommended giving her a drink of water or rinsing out her mouth with water after each nursing session. According to what mommal said, perhaps that last is not necessary. Overall I haven't found dentists to be very supportive of extended night-nursing, but I'm sure it depends on the person and it may just be due to lack of good info. There's a very good article at http://kellymom.com/health/baby-health/tooth-decay/

    I had just night-weaned my daughter anyway for other reasons, but I don't think I personally would have done it just for the sake of her teeth.

    Hope that helps!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    Hi mommal and satin.mama,
    Thank you so much for your replies and your help I really appreciate it.
    So this is what we're doing now. Brushing teeth three times a day, twice with a very small amount of children's fluoride paste; applying tooth mousse twice a day (this one doesn't contain fluoride); monthly checkups; and following all the precautions I mentioned in my first post.
    Mommal, I agree with you about trying to give my lo a longer stretch at night without nursing. I'm trying to just hold her close and rock her while I hum to her, but inevitably as she starts getting restless I accommodate her and nurse... I guess where is no easy way to do this without having her cry? Any tips?
    Thanks again for your help

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    Night weaning a toddler who is a determined nurser isn't going to be easy or cry-free. Some things to try:
    - Keep a sippy cup with water in it available for night-wakings- sometimes a toddler is genuinely thirsty.
    - Have someone else handle the nighttime wake-ups
    - Communicate- before bed say something like "We're all going to sleep, the sun is going to sleep, mommy is going to sleep, and (insert your special nursing word here) is going to sleep. Everyone sleeps all night long. We'll nurse again when the clock says (insert time here)" or "when the sun comes up." Reinforce the lesson by saying "It's nursing time, you were so good and everyone slept for a long time. Now let's nurse!"
    - Crying can be handled compassionately- offer back rubs, lullabies, cuddles, etc. As long as you're offering alternative forms of comfort, don't feel like you have to offer the breast.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    Thank you mommal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,910

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    Can you nurse baby to sleep and then gently wipe off the teeth after with a cloth? Some moms do this and think it helpful, although, I should add that there is no evidence that it does anything. However, I do not think there is evidence that longer stretches of not nursing at night does anything either. (Please correct me if I am wrong on that.) Sometimes things make sense or seem to help in individual circumstances but have just not been properly studied or found to be helpful generally.

    Have you gotten clarity on what this type of decay means for your child's permenent teeth? My understanding is that some types do not indicate there will be an issue with permanent teeth.

    Anyone suggest xylitol? http://kiddsteeth.com/dental_topics.html#xylitol

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    Hi Meg,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Absolutely, I'm trying to wipe her teeth after each feed at night, but I am doing pretty bad in success rate there... It works out all right after the first wake up, but after that, it's usually a lost cause. I end up waking her up, and we are up for longer... So realistically, I can't say this is working too well for us...

    I really am having a hard time being at peace with night weaning DD. First I'd like to understand if the situation is stable or getting worse. If it's stable I'd keep nursing habits as they are. If it's getting worse, then I guess that perhaps night weaning may remove one possible risk factor (although... as I write this I have a knot in my stomach and hope this is true for the sake of her teeth).

    For these reasons, we are planning on getting another dentist's opinion about the status of the enamel defect/decay. As well as going back to the first dentist we saw (the one with an intermediate approach).

    As to your question about the risk for permanent teeth, we don't really know... The practitioners we saw didn't have an answer.

    I did read online about people using xylitol containing paste. We actually started using it for the times my DD brushes on her own her teeth.
    I'm hoping it will help.

    I have to say I'm quite worried...

    Thank you again so much for your help, I really appreciate it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,910

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    I am sure this is very distressing. It is a very difficult area because it simply has not been studied properly, like many areas that involve breastfeeding. Although non breastfeeding toddlers also suffer from tooth decay, when a child is nursing, breastfeeding is blamed and no one really questions it.

    The late Brian Palmer DDS studied the supposed links between infant caries and breastfeeding. Below is a link to the presentation he would give. His basic conclusion is that there is simply no evidence that breastfeeding, breastfeeding into toddlerhood, or night nursing contributes to tooth decay, and that this makes sense because why WOULD a child’s natural, perfect food contribute to tooth decay? All mammal species nurse their young, they do not "night wean," they nurse well past babyhood, yet no other species suffers from anywhere near the amount of tooth decay seen in MODERN (but not prehistoric) human children.

    BUT, these are conclusions based on logic and a small amount of evidence. No large scale study has ever been done that asks the right questions and studies the right things, so there is no real 'proof' breastmilk or breastfeeding does no harm in this area.

    Here is a link to Palmer’s presentation/lecture on breastfeeding and dental caries if you are interested. To see and understand the whole thing you will need to see the actual presentation with slides which is available linked on this page, and read the notes that are on this page. So I want to warn you that the pictures of extreme decay may be upsetting. http://www.brianpalmerdds.com/caries.htm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Enamel defect_is night weaning necessary? PLEASE HELP

    unlike a bottle, where milk not swallowed pools in the baby's mouth
    and bathes the teeth in milk
    breastfed babies take the nipple past the palate. there is no pooling of unswallowed milk therefore the teeth are not laying in a bath of milk all night.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •