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Thread: tooth decay info

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default tooth decay info

    Does anyone have any good information on the possibility of night nursing making existing tooth decay worse?

    I have looked and looked and all I can find is info saying that nursing at night doesn't directly cause cavities...but what happens if your child has decay and then also nurses much of the night?

    Thanks in advance!
    and Mama to two little girls

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Keepin' it weird
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    109

    Default Re: tooth decay info

    This article on KellyMom discusses tooth decay. The closest I can find is this quote: "...the antibodies in breastmilk counteract the bacteria in the mouth that cause decay". However, it's good to keep in mind this point: "...when a small amount of sugar was added to the breastmilk, the mixture was worse than a sugar solution when it came to causing tooth decay. This study emphasizes the importance of tooth brushing and good dental hygiene."

    My thinking is that breastmilk itself will not cause existing cavities to be worse. However, those cavities are hard to clean, making it hard to get all the food particles and sugar and whatnot cleaned out. So if the decay is just a little discoloring, or a very small cavity, then night nursing (after thoroughly brushing those teeth!) will not be harmful. But if you're combating larger cavities, then nursing may become troublesome.

    DS1 had nasty caries that required his 4 upper incisors be capped. I night nursed throughout the whole ordeal, and I don't think it made things worse. He had a larger cavity on one of his molars that we and his dentist kept an eye on for months before it was filled (waiting for him to be old enough to not require IV sedation). I night nursed during that whole time and the cavity never got worse; I did, however, make darn sure to brush that sucker really good every night and morning!

    Good luck with those baby teeth, and hoping your little one's teeth aren't as soft as my DS1's!
    Breastfeeding, babywearing, sci-fi loving, total geek of a mom!

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. — Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    307

    Default Re: tooth decay info

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*froggylogic View Post
    This article on KellyMom discusses tooth decay. The closest I can find is this quote: "...the antibodies in breastmilk counteract the bacteria in the mouth that cause decay". However, it's good to keep in mind this point: "...when a small amount of sugar was added to the breastmilk, the mixture was worse than a sugar solution when it came to causing tooth decay. This study emphasizes the importance of tooth brushing and good dental hygiene."

    My thinking is that breastmilk itself will not cause existing cavities to be worse. However, those cavities are hard to clean, making it hard to get all the food particles and sugar and whatnot cleaned out. So if the decay is just a little discoloring, or a very small cavity, then night nursing (after thoroughly brushing those teeth!) will not be harmful. But if you're combating larger cavities, then nursing may become troublesome.

    DS1 had nasty caries that required his 4 upper incisors be capped. I night nursed throughout the whole ordeal, and I don't think it made things worse. He had a larger cavity on one of his molars that we and his dentist kept an eye on for months before it was filled (waiting for him to be old enough to not require IV sedation). I night nursed during that whole time and the cavity never got worse; I did, however, make darn sure to brush that sucker really good every night and morning!

    Good luck with those baby teeth, and hoping your little one's teeth aren't as soft as my DS1's!
    Thanks, this makes a lot of sense. And her cavities are not deep, they are small at this point. Even if they were bad, I don't have it in me to night wean her at such a young age. We do thorough brushing and she eats no junk or juice, just water. Hoping it doesn't get worse! Thanks again for your thoughts.
    and Mama to two little girls

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,847

    Default Re: tooth decay info

    Does your dentist do flouride treatments? Painting some of that flouride stuff on the affected teeth my might help halt the decay, or at least slow it down.
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,300

    Default Re: tooth decay info

    The WAB suggests looking into xylitol when there is existing decay.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    16

    Default Re: tooth decay info

    Came across this exciting protocol and thought it was worth sharing. It looks very comprehensive. I cantacted those involved in the research and the review will hopefully be completed in the summer of this year

    Breastfeeding for oral health in preschool children. Arora A, Foster JP, Gillies D, Moxey AJ, Moody G, Curtis B (Issue 3, 2013).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: tooth decay info


    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: tooth decay info

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    I didn't, thanks, good info!
    and Mama to two little girls

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