Oh my goodness, ntaylor1222, what an ordeal you've all had to go through! I'm still floored at the restraining part. They don't believe in sedation or novacaine?! Do you have any other pediatric dentist options in your area?
I've posted my story a couple of times before but here's the short version (sort of). My ds night-nursed until about 2.5 and continued to nurse until 4.5. No dental issues at all. None. My dd had compromised teeth from the beginning. They came in with little pits. I wish we had done something about it sooner. But by age 2 they had decayed and chipped. We opted to have her go under general anesthesia to do the fixing. It went fine. She's had other cavities here and there since but they've been able to catch it sooner and fix it in the office w/sedation/novacaine if needed. We also opted to put sealants on some of her teeth to prevent future cavities. She's almost 5 now. Still nurses after brushing and had a totally clean dental checkup recently. Her dentist and I completely disagree on the risks vs. benefits of extended nursing, but we've pretty much exhausted our arguments on each other, LOL. I told him and his staff that I'd done my own research and would make those choices that fit our family. He's done a lovely job with her teeth and my dd loves him. Go figure.
The practice at this pediatric dentist office is that parents can be with the child for regular cleanings but not procedures. So there is a comfort level established with everyone before the child has to go in on his/her own.
Once you get that bacteria (s.mutans) in the mouth it's hard to get rid of it. It's the bacteria itself that causes cavities. Who's to say why one child over the other gets more dental issues. They really don't know. I've heard that the mother's dental health can be a big influence. I wish I'd known not to share utensils and thus share bacteria from parent to child or child to child.
I've also heard that a regular routine of wiping out the mouth with a clean washcloth for infants can get them used to someone cleaning their mouth. Then when the teeth erupt a soft brush can be used.
I don't buy the line of BF making teeth soft. If you look at it historically, tooth decay becomes an issue when refined foods became readily available. How could the nutrition that is designed for babies at the same time be detrimental to their overall dental health?
Hang in there!