Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: How much to worry about dental decay??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    44

    Default How much to worry about dental decay??

    I just spent a frustrating few hours at the dentist this morning for myself and to take my DD1 for her first dental check up. At the end of her appointment I tried to ask the dentist a question about DD2 and ended up getting a lecture. What I wanted to know is how much should I deal with brushing my 17 month old's teeth (she has 12 teeth already) and if there are any good tricks. Quite honestly, me and DH are not the best at getting the kiddies to brush but we do try.

    Anyways, the dentist asked if she is still gets a bottle or nursing. When I told him she nurses (no bottle) and he also asked if it was to go to sleep. Well, she nurses to sleep and a few times during the night (most nights) and boy, the dentist really made it clear how he felt about this! As you can guess he told me I had to stop nursing to sleep and at night (I think he meant that half asleep type nursing which enables me to get sleep) right away and I got a huge lecture.

    Have any of you who are nursing toddlers really had problems with dental decay? What steps have you done to prevent it? It is my understanding that it is pretty rare in BF babies/toddlers. I have the feeling this dentist equates all bottle feed babies the same as BF babies - it's not.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Mommy to DM 6/21/06 and YR 4/9/08 30 months and counting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    I don't have any direct experience with this, but I seem to remember reading recently here that only about 20% of cavities are preventable by brushing, etc. Which makes me think it's mostly genetics and mouth flora that determine tooth health.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,160

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    I agree that the dental decay tends to be genetics and not so much nursing to sleep. A good friend of mine is going through this w/ her DD that's in my local LLL group. She told me that after nursing she wipes down her DD's teeth with a clean and wet towel.

    I do know how frustrating it is for toddlers and brusing their teeth. We went through something UGLY at my house. I think it was months that my son didn't have a good tooth brushing. What worked for us on that angle was as much positive praise and reinforcement as possible. I literally danced the jig anytime he would let the brush near his teeth, and slowly he started opening a little bit more each time.

    Lastly do you do any juice? Juice is a big no-no for kids prone to decay. I would stop juice if you do, except for once and a while.
    Lisa

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    My IBCLC said that there is no connection between night nursing and tooth decay. She said that it has never been proven and that breastfed toddlers actually have better teeth than other kids.
    ~ Theresa
    wife to Mike and mommy to Clara (9-5-08) 2 years and going strong!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    Thanks for the input.

    I really am not so worried about decay for my DD2. I just could not believe how the dentist went on and on about it when he never even saw her. We are very big believers in my house of no juice. And all DD2 gets in a sippy is water, no juice.

    I was really just curious if what others have in reality experienced, not what the dentist exclaimed!
    Mommy to DM 6/21/06 and YR 4/9/08 30 months and counting

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,349

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    We haven't taken DS to the dentist yet, so I don't know what he'll say. FWIW, my sister and I were both bf to sleep & during the night, and we're both 100% cavity-free.

    I wanted to add that we have finally gotten over the bedtime toothbrushing battle. A few weeks ago, DS and I were at the store and I bought an electric toothbrush for him (letting him pick out the color, of course). He loves turning it on & off, loves the sound it makes & thinks it feels funny - so he actually lets me brush his teeth for almost 2 minutes!! Just an idea to try - it was only $6 or so, so it might be worth the experiment.
    Imma to AA, born at home 11/12/07 , juggling , working, APing , cloth diapering , - and . I'm done - yay!

    http://bf.lilypie.com/KmpEm6.png

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    N. TX
    Posts
    1,231

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    Well, to defend the dentist a bit....you want someone who is an ardent advocate for his profession, and that is just what they get taught. It is good to have a little passion for keeping your kids as healthy as possible (you don't want him to be like - "no, no, give him the juice and come back every 3 months so I can rake in the dough filling their cavities!") Take his "lecture" for what it is worth and just do what you feel best for your family. They are just baby teeth, so I'd say, do your best to get them brushing well but just remember the dentist is passionate about healthy healthy teeth, not passionate about your nursing habits. Plus, if 15% of cavities could be prevented by holding your breath for 10 minutes a day, I am sure he would "lecture" you to do that as well.

    Emily, mommy to
    Jeremija Charles - 5/30/07 - nursed 26 mo, and
    Aleksandar Hayes - 12/13/09 - nursing strong!


    "Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it." - William Durant

    If you really want to do something, you'll find a way, if you don't, you'll find an excuse.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Polson, MT
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    I'm sorry the dentist visit was so frustrating for you! And yes, I agree that it is good to have a dentist who wants to protect your child's teeth, but I also understand what it feels like to be told to give up nursing, or how bad it is to nurse at night, whatever.

    I actually took DS to his first dental visit yesterday. He did very well, and I was praised for not giving him juice or let him run around with sippy cups of cow's milk all day (that, right there, is a cause of tooth decay.) I didn't specify that he nurses all night, although I was very happy when the dental hygenist did not lecture me for letting him nurse just before bed. I was told, however, that the majority of dental problems in kids under two are linked to parents...basically, if your teeth are unhealthy, then you pass on that bad bacteria by kissing, etc. (Suddenly I felt horribly self-concious, even though I am pretty sure my teeth are just fine.)

    That said... did you know that researchers have tried to grow a variety of bacteria in breast milk--including those that cause tooth decay--and failed? Here's a little known fact: breast milk can actually help to prevent tooth decay. Look on the tube of infant toothpaste, and it will say that it has ingredients found in breast milk. Hmm, interesting. I think that because putting your babyto bed with bottles of formula and juice can cause tooth decay ("bottle rot"), it's generally assumed that of course breastfeeding will have the same effect.

    You're doing fine. Keep brushing and keep nursing!
    I'm a babywearing , cosleeping , breastfeeding , loving, blogging single mommy to the beautiful Jayden 9-17-08

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,349

    Default Re: How much to worry about dental decay??

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mamajade View Post
    Here's a little known fact: breast milk can actually help to prevent tooth decay. Look on the tube of infant toothpaste, and it will say that it has ingredients found in breast milk. Hmm, interesting. I think that because putting your babyto bed with bottles of formula and juice can cause tooth decay ("bottle rot"), it's generally assumed that of course breastfeeding will have the same effect.
    Wow!! So cool!
    Imma to AA, born at home 11/12/07 , juggling , working, APing , cloth diapering , - and . I'm done - yay!

    http://bf.lilypie.com/KmpEm6.png

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •