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Thread: dental caries

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    5

    Default dental caries

    Hi everyone

    I am currently nursing my 11 month old and have no plan on weaning her anytime soon, however, I am very concerned about dental caries and have read alot of conflicting information. I have a 4 year old who weaned herself at 13 months so it was not an issue for her. I night nurse my infant ALOT and would love to continue nursing through toddlerhood. Does anyone have an opinion on this? It sounds like some of you have nursed for a number of years, are dental caries an issue for your children? Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    13

    Default Re: dental caries

    I think if your child is not showing signs of them right now, you are probably on the okay side (take that for what is't worst, I am NOT an expert!). But I do have experience with caries in my kids. My now 6 year old had to have teeth capped and filled at 18 months. I noticed his issues earlier, but our ped dismissed my concerns. His started with what looked like a chip, and it gradually got bigger and bigger. It was an ER doc we saw for something else who told me we needed to get him to a ped dds. I was pretty mad at our ped because had she sent us over when I first suspected something was wrong we would not have needed such extensive work.

    Breastmilk is actually anti-cariogenic, but mixed with simple carbs, I believe, it can really become damaging. Also, the strep mutans bacteria is what causes most decay, and that can be passed from parent/caregive to child via sharing utinsels, etc. If you have a lot of cavities, you might be a carrier.

    Dr. Brian Palmer is an expert in this field. He talks about our current lifestyle lending itself very well to caries in general; often we think of "cave people" or whatever (olden days) that people used to lose their teeth to decay, but his research has shown that is not true. http://www.brianpalmerdds.com/caries.htm

    Some familes wipe their kids' teeth after they nurse, but we never did that. I am convinced my ds's issue was inherited. Our ped dds says he sees about 70% of caries in about 30% of the population.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: dental caries

    Here is an article I found helpful

    http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr.../cavities.html


    Amanda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,551

    Default Re: dental caries

    Each child's teeth are different. There are many factors that may affect who gets caries and who doesn't, even within the same family. There was an excellent session on breastfeeding and oral health at the LLL International Conference this summer. Here's a review published in New Beginnings. http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBSepOct05p211a.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5

    Smile Re: dental caries

    Thank you everyone for your replys. I read the articles and feel better about it. I brush her teeth first thing in the morning and again before bed. She has a really good diet and we have been pretty good about not sharing utensils with her. I am relieved that I can continue nursing her at night and can stop worrying about it and actually enjoy this special time with her.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: dental caries

    my daughter is 21 mos.old and is still nursing...I just noticed some discolored spots on her front teeth that appear to be cavities.
    I havent had her to the dentist yet but have an appointment. Just wanted to see if anyone had similar experiences...I was really worried that it was from breastfeeding, the article was helpful, thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: dental caries

    Hi rubymama,
    My dd's top 2 front teeth came in with discolorations/indentations. I wish I had acted sooner to find out more about what they were and what our options were. When she was a year old I asked our pediatrician and he didn't know. By the time she was about 21 or 22 months old, my dentist determined there was decay and referred us to a pediatric dental specialist. I believe the decay had more to do with the fact that those indentations were hard to clean than extended nursing. (The pediatric dentist thought otherwise but that is another story!) Anyway, if we had acted sooner maybe we could have prevented/slowed the course of the decay? They make a concentrated flouride varnish that can re-mineralize the tooth.
    Once the decay started it progressed quite quickly. By the time she was seen by the specialist at 24 months, the decay had gone through the tooth, making "notches".
    Anyway, it's good to get it checked out and do lots of research. Hopefully you can find a breastfeeding-friendly dentist. But even though my dentist was not breastfeeding-friendly, he did a lovely job repairing my dd's teeth. We just don't agree on the benefits (he would say risks) of extended nursing!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    58

    Question Re: dental caries

    This has been a very helpful and informative thread ! I have two questions to add to the discussion:

    1. I am intruiged by the idea of using peppermint oil for cleaning teeth before introducing flouride toothpaste. I am wondering at what age this could possibly be safely done? (Dd just turned 17 months.)

    2. I have been having a really difficult time getting dd to comply with her dental hygiene regimen. I have an electric baby-toothbrush and a manual one and also use a washcloth wrapped around my finger and she tolerates one or the other some of the days. But most of the time, she clamsp her mouth shut and/or screams and twist and turns before I even get anywhere near her mouth! Does anyone have any suggestions how I could get her to comply?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: dental caries

    Dear Ishymama
    Thanks for the reply...Sorry to hear you have gone through this too, but I appreciate the info!
    I have been kind of freaking out about the thought that they could have been caused by extended nursing, we have an appt. with a pediatric dentist on the 20th and I am dreading her telling me that is what they are from.
    I am glad to know a little about what can be done to help. Hopefully we have caught them in time, although they do appear to be etching the enamel on her teeth! It seems like they just came out of nowhere.

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