I thought I'd update what we've done since I started this thread.
We tried EVERYTHING. Bought Ramil Nagel's book, did Dr. Ellie's xylitol system, spent $100 on high vitamin butter oil and fermented cod liver oil, gave ds 4 different types of cell salts 3x/day, painted clay on his teeth at night, limited sugar/juice/carbs/etc., fed him a traditional foods diet, got a temporary filling from a holistic dentist, tested the pH level of his saliva, fed him seaweed and nettles and hard cheese and I'm sure there are many more things I did that I can't remember off the top of my head.
However...his teeth continued to chip away and look worse and worse. I spent so many hours thinking/worrying/stressing about his mouth- Is he feeling any pain? Does he have an abscess? Will his permanent teeth be affected? When will he develop insecurities from all the kids who are starting to ask why he has broken/brown teeth? Is his night-waking caused by tooth pain? Is his shyness or temper tantrum caused by headaches caused by tooth pain?
I had read somewhere that small children are unable to communicate tooth pain and will often say their head hurts or lips hurt, or won't say anything hurts, but they act out. I asked my son too often if his teeth hurt and he always said no, but flinched when I brushed his teeth, and was always pushing on the outside of his lip above the teeth. He also woke 3x4 times a night crying, and woke from his naps crying. (He's 3.)
We took him to see 4 dentists. Two of them had absolutely nothing to profit off of me- one was a family friend and the other was my personal holistic dentist, and they did not work with children.
They all said we needed to have the top four teeth extracted.
It took us 6 months to finally work up the courage to do it, still thinking we could "wait and see." But last week I felt a strong urge to take him in. I thought I saw an abscess forming and we took him in to see a fantastic pedodontist. She said there was no abscess,which was a huge relief to me because this meant no need for antibiotics (which he has never been on) and we set up the appointment for the 4 extractions. She gave me two options- general sedation in the hospital, or conscious sedation in her office. She allowed us in the room, even let my son sit on his dad's lap. No restraints, no papoose board needed. We opted for the conscious sedation, and though he wasn't too pleased about being there, once the meds kicked in he fell asleep and slept through his extractions. I was worried about the sedation since he has never even had Motrin in his life, much less a narcotic, but he did fine.
He slept until the novocaine wore off, and I nursed him as soon as he woke up back home. There was no bleeding, minimal swelling, and he hasn't once complained about pain. I was forcefeeding him popsicles, but never had to give him anything else and by the next morning he was trying to bite into things with his gums. I kept trying to stop him without making too big of a deal about it, but he doesn't seem to miss his teeth at all. I've been asking him if his teeth hurt and he says, "no, they used to but they don't anymore."
Since his extractions, he has slept through the night EVERY NIGHT. This hasn't happened since he was born. He also just seems generally happier. Oh- and it turns out he DID have an abscess- something the dentist saw when she removed the tooth, which confirmed the importance of extracting that tooth because that could have caused damage to his adult tooth. There really is truth to "mother's intuition" since I just knew he had an abscess, but she didn't see it at his exam.
His speech has not been affected, and he seems to be eating a little better since the procedure. He now looks like an adorable tiny little first grader with those missing teeth. The other kids he's been around have not said anything to him, and I think as long as we don't make a big deal about it, the whole thing will soon be a distant memory.
In conclusion, I am glad we were able to wait until he was 3 to have the treatment. I am also relieved I don't have to worry about those teeth anymore. If I could go back in time, there is nothing I would do any differently.
I am extremely curious as to why so many of us AP moms have children with serious decay on those top four teeth. It has been proven that breast milk is not to blame, but I have another theory that I have come up with completely on my own. I don't think it is the breastmilk itself, but the all night nursing- when the baby is actually sleeping with the nipple in the mouth. This prevents those top four teeth from exposure to saliva which is constantly remineralizing holes in teeth. To me, if it was breastmilk then all of my baby's teeth would be decayed- not just the top 4.
I would love to hear from other moms who also have had a similar experience, and I'm sorry you are going through this. What brings me comfort is knowing they are only baby teeth, and those adult teeth will be coming in soon enough.