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Thread: Does BFing cause tooth decay? How to find pro-BFing dentist?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    10

    Default Does BFing cause tooth decay? How to find pro-BFing dentist?

    A friend told me her dentist said that hers daughter's cavities are the result of her nursing at night. I thought more recent info showed that this is usually caused from something besides nursing. I haven't taken my 1 y/o to the dentist yet, but I am afraid they will tell me to stop nursing at night. What have your personal experiences been with cavities? Do you still nurse at night? How can I locate a pro-breastfeeding dentist?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
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    524

    Default Re: Does BFing cause tooth decay? How to find pro-BFing dent

    I BF my son until he was 2 years old... ALL NIGHT LONG (lol). I didn't take him to the dentist until he was 3 (oops), but he didn't have any cavities. From the research that I have done, it seems that people just don't agree on whether night nursing causes cavities. Here is a link with some info: http://kellymom.com/health/baby-health/tooth-decay/

    Honestly, if I was told to stop nursing by a dentist, I think I would have just nodded my head and then not listened. I wonder if your dentist will even ask you though. When we just took my son, they asked what he drinks and eats, so it was up to me to respond the way I wanted to.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    582

    Default Re: Does BFing cause tooth decay? How to find pro-BFing dent

    Lots of people apparently put babies to bed with a bottle and that they seem to think is responsible for causing tooth decay especially if juice or milk are in the bottle. Remember that bottles keep leaking into the mouth even when not being actively sucked on so sugary or acidic substances then pool in the mouth to work on the teeth long term, that is why they say if you must put baby to bed with a bottle that it should be plain water.

    Breast feeding I think is different, most moms of babies with teeth are not still leaking all night into the mouth of a baby who is not actively sucking/swallowing.

    If your baby has teeth and you night nurse, make a point of brushing the teeth in the morning as well as at night just like you do for yourself.

    That's just my take on it.

    Of course almost all pediatric dentists (other than the ones who are supportive of breast feeding and are willing to correct tongue/lip ties in infants) I've looked up, seem to think babies have to be weaned at 1 year. Even ones supportive of breast feeding don't recommend nursing to sleep.

    As the pp said, I don't think I would listen to much of what most doctors say about nursing unless it is supportive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,653

    Default Re: Does BFing cause tooth decay? How to find pro-BFing dent

    Choose a dentist based on their skill and on whether they make the dentist appointment fun and comfortable for your child. Don't choose based on the dentist being "pro-breastfeeding", because you're unlikely to find any dentist who favors night nursing. If your dentist advises you to stop nursing at night, just say "I'm working on it!" and proceed to ignore him/her.
    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
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Does BFing cause tooth decay? How to find pro-BFing dent

    My child's dentist recommended stopping night nursing and I laughed in his face. Literally.

    Poor hygiene, weak enamel, and a sugar-rich diet cause cavities, not breastfeeding. The KellyMom links provided above offer some clear guidance on the research in the area.

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