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Thread: Cavities and night nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Cavities and night nursing

    I have a 16 month old son. I have always nursed him on demand day and night and he sleeps with us. I noticed some spots on his teeth and took him to the dentist today and he has 3 small cavities on his front teeth he needs filled. I take really good care of his teeth (brush twice a day, no juice or bottles, no refined sugar or carbs). The only thing I can think of is it must be the night nursing that caused it. The dental hygienest said I should have weaned him at 1, but I'd really like to nurse until at least 2. What do I do? Should I nightwean him? How would I go about doing that? He still nurses to sleep and nurses a lot at night. I just feel like a terrible mother right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Cavities and night nursing

    I do not know if nursing causes this or not, but I think some people are more susceptible to cavities than others. I think I take much better care of my teeth than my husband does his. I brush and floss a lot and never miss a 6 month cleaning. I have to force him to go to the dentist. However, I seem to always have cavities and he never does! So, it might not be the nursing, i.e. your lo may have gotten cavities anyway. Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Cavities and night nursing

    Breastfeeding alone does not cause cavities. (It makes me mad when people blame breastfeeding for all sorts of things!) Since your son does seem to be sucseptible to cavities, maybe consider wiping his teeth with a washcloth after each nursing session. Hopefully you can manage to do it without waking him!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Cavities and night nursing

    Hi Hollin,
    Here's a great article from last year's LEAVEN magazine (for LLL Leaders).
    Early Childhood Caries: New Knowledge Has Implications for Breastfeeding Families
    There are links to further resources at the end of the article.
    And for more links, go to:
    Breastfeeding and Dental/Oral Health
    It can be very stressful and upsetting to find out your little one has oral health concerns. There are a lot of strong opinions out there regarding nursing and oral health. Doing some research and getting accurate, up-to-date information can really help as you sort out your options.
    Hugs and good luck!
    If you search for "caries" or "cavities" here at the Mother-to-Mother Forums, you are likely to find many posts with others' experiences, too.
    Last edited by @llli*LLLMaryP; May 15th, 2007 at 08:01 AM. Reason: finish writing and add link

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Cavities and night nursing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Cavities and night nursing

    Here is another link for you (more is better)


    On the site it states...A study by Dr. Norman Tinanoff showed that breastmilk in itself does not give rise to cavities as much as was previously thought. Dr. Tinanoff believes that the milk proteins in breastmilk protect the enamel on the teeth, and that the antibacterial qualities in breastmilk stop the bacteria from using the lactose in breastmilk in the same way as regular sugar. This dentist also showed that 5 minutes of breastfeeding lowered the pH-level only slightly more than rinsing the mouth with a little water.

    I do not think that you did anything wrong Mom.....BF'ing does not "cause" cavities......you brush and do not give juice...you are taking all precautions.
    Leslie- Momma to Aiden 02/28/06 AND Owen 2/28/08...What timing

    Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen.--Jimmy Buffet

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