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Thread: Nursing bad for toddlers teeth?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Nursing bad for toddlers teeth?

    Had oldest DD at the dentist on Friday. Like her mommy she has not so great teeth, we have weak enamle and tend to get a lot of cavities. DD dentist asked if younger daughter was still on a bottle or nursing. I told him she was, and when I told him that she was 20 months he said we really needed to stop to help protect her teeth. He said that breast milk was just as suggary as soda or juice. I know that me, and DD1 have cavity problems, but I did not think that nursing would be considered a bad thing! DD1 has some serious problems, which is very upsetting, we brush 2X/day, and use her floride mouth wash. The baby also has her teeth brushed for her. Any opinions or advice would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Nursing bad for toddlers teeth?

    There's a great new article online from LEAVEN, a magazine for LLL Leaders.

    Early Childhood Caries: New Knowledge Has Implications for Breastfeeding Families

    There's also this previous sticky post from LLLErin.

    I hope this helps as you decide what to do.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Nursing bad for toddlers teeth?

    I think genetics, more than breastfeeding, has to do with this. I have awful teeth. I can brush and floss diligently and it doesn't matter, I still get cavities (the dentist assures me that they'd be much worse if I didn't do what I'm supposed to! LOL). One of my three children has taken after me in this. She was the one to wean herself earlier than my other two at 18 months old.

    My son bf for 23 months and has no cavities at almost 9 years old. My youngest has beautiful teeth and still bf at 23 months old. IMO, it has little to do with the breastfeeding and everything to do with genetics and brushing habits.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Nursing bad for toddlers teeth?

    It's a tough call. I don't know who to believe as far as whether or not night nursing is responsible for early cavities. My 40 month old still nurses to sleep. He does have what appears to be decay on his 4 top front teeth. He has never eaten any kind of sweeteners at all (no honey, maple syrup, "natural" sugars, etc). We were not very good about brushing his teeth until we saw what appears to be decay. I decided that I would still night nurse because I felt the psychological benefits outweigh the possible damage it might be doing to his teeth. I really believe in child led weaning and he pretty much only nurses once a day now which is to sleep at night. We are very careful about brushing now and it is the only thing we force him to do. The brown spots that we see have not gotten any worse since we have been brushing his teeth twice a day. The way I look at it is that you have to follow your heart, not your dentist's recommendations. You know what is best for your particular child.


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