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Thread: Is nursing while lying down bad for baby's teeth?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Is nursing while lying down bad for baby's teeth?

    I was told I should "brush" my 7 month old's teeth before bed because the sugar in breastmilk can cause tooth decay. I thought that wasn't the case with BM?? Also, I wonder how brushing her teeth before bed would do much at all seeing as how she nurses frequently at night (we co-sleep). I definitely don't want to cause any tooth decay. Is this something I should be worrying about? How do others with babies this age do the whole teeth brushing thing?
    Jen, momma to Charlotte Rae born 9/25/07

    Still breastfeeding !

    and !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Is nursing while lying down bad for baby's teeth?


    heres the links here at the web site....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Is nursing while lying down bad for baby's teeth?

    It's often said that breastfeeding (particularly while lying down at night) will cause tooth decay, just like letting a baby sleep with a bottle of milk can cause "baby bottle mouth." Essentially, a valid link has not been made between nursing (nighttime or otherwise) and cavities.
    Non-breastfeeding infants are at a higher risk for tooth decay when compared to breastfed babies (2, 20). Components present in human milk play a protective role. Immune factors such as Secretory IgA and IgG can slow the growth of the specific types of streptococcus mutans colonizing the child's mouth (21, 22). Lactoferrin in mothers' milk has a bacteriocidal effect (destroying bacteria), as well (6). Dr. Pamela Erickson studied the decay potential of various liquids (23, 24). Water had a decay potential of 0.00 and a 10 percent sucrose solution had a decay potential of 1.00. Human milk had a decay potential of 0.01, close to that of plain water.
    Based on the belief that breastfeeding increases the risk for infant caries, some researchers and healthcare professionals have recommended that infants be weaned with the eruption of the first deciduous tooth. New research, however, indicates that breastfeeding does not increase the risk for infant caries.
    In line with the positive health effects of breastfeeding, epidemiological studies have associated breastfeeding with low levels of dental caries (137, 138). A few specific case studies have linked prolonged ad libitum and nocturnal breastfeeding to early childhood caries. Breastfeeding has the advantage that it does not necessitate the use of a feeder bottle, which has been associated with early childhood caries. A breastfed infant will also receive milk of a controlled composition to which additional free sugars have not been added. There are no benefits to dental health of feeding using a formula feed.
    The links will take you to full articles.


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