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Any Other Vegan Toddlers with Severe Tooth Decay?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

My 2 year old has been eating what we considered an extremely healthy diet since birth . Almost no sugar (i.e. somethong maybe 1x/2-3 months) lots of whole grains, beans, veggies, fruits etc. She had brown decay across her front 4 teeth that we noticed and when I took her to the dentist, he diagnosed 8 cavities.  top four plus each 1 yr molar.  I am doing everything I can to avoid the surgery required to fill these teeth and have got some good resultsfrom ideas  presented in the detal forum. However, the book on Curing Tooth decay that i discovered through this forum proposes pretty much the opposite of the vegan diet- lots of meat and organ meat, lots of dairy etc.  DD has a bunch of food sensitivities that I believe contributed to this too but we have introduced fish this  week for the first time (in 20 years for me) in hopes of healing her teeth.

I would love to hear that other vegan kiddos have happy healthy teeth and that perhaps this is due to her food sensitivities and subsequent mineral absorbtion but am just not sure what to think. Would love to hear from y'all.

Thanks!

post #2 of 22

My kid had to have four cavities filled at 2 years old. I really don't believe that more protein or calcium in milk would have made a difference. (Actually, he's just recently turned vegan, previously was vegetarian, eating just a bit of cheese, no other animal products.) In my case, we were not strict enough about brushing and it was just super hard to brush teeth because my little boy was so resistant and would kick and scream and fight every second of it, no matter what tricks and entertaining ways I tried to find. So we didn't brush nearly enough. Also, I have some cavities that I have not had taken care of because they're not bothering me and I'm scared to death of going to the dentist because of a bad experience with wisdom teeth extraction, but those cavity causing bacteria get transmitted very easily from caretaker to babies. I'm going to get my teeth fixed under IV sedation, I think, when my next little squish is still tiny. 

post #3 of 22

My lacto-ovo son had cavities in 6 teeth at 20 months. I have no cavities at all and my husband has few. I spoke with the woman at LLL and she said that carbohydrates (as in crackers) and breastmilk can cause tooth decay.

 

My son is 5.5 and starting to lose his baby teeth. YEAH. His baby teeth suck. They break off, fillings fall out, they are brown (probably from when he needed iron around a year of age.) His teeth are horrid, although no more cavities since those original ones. I recently spoke with the pediatric dentist and he said it's possible I had a prenatal exposure to something. We'll see what his teeth coming in are like.

 

He pointed to my daughter's teeth (she wasn't quite 3 at the time) and he said her teeth prove it isn't anything in my son's diet that is the problem. I reminded him she's adopted so has different genetics (frankly, her birth mom has horrid teeth.) He said that proves the point that it's not an environmental/diet thing. She eats the same as he does and she has pearly white, beautiful, intact teeth. There is something intrinsic in my son's teeth that is the problem. It's not his diet.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for sharing your experiences with this.

sundaycrepes: this is a very interesting comparison between your kids. I hope your sons permanent teeth are much healthier.

mrscookie: thanks for sharing your experrience- I know brushing the teeth of an escaping toddler is hard work. we finally found some workable solutions but before that it was a big battle. i hope you find a very kind, perhaps holistic dentist when the time comes to get your work done.

http://www.amazon.com/Cure-Tooth-Decay-Cavities-Nutrition/dp/1434810607/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314305805&sr=1-1 

that is the book on curing cavities. its protocols seem to be used extensively and successfully by the dental forum folks at mdc, if you are interested in curiing your cavities with diet and supplements.

post #5 of 22

I did already get the cavities filled under GA. It was really not that bad, and while the dentist was not holistic, I was glad that he was quick to say that nursing doesn't cause cavities and never suggested the use of restraints to get the work done. I'm familiar with the protocols described in the book mentioned, but that wouldn't be an option for me because we don't use animal products for ethical reasons. I also have reservations about the products recommended for other health reasons (even if it did help with tooth decay, wouldn't want to eat these foods.) 

post #6 of 22

My oldest so far is the only one that has experienced any decay and I did have some cheese and eggs when pregnant with her (desperate days and I was getting free food from WIC), otherwise we've all been vegan.  Her decay was in her 6yr molars when they came in they didn't have enamel on the top surface completely (which both my father and myself experienced with our 12yr molars) and because they were coming in at an angle we weren't able to protect them and they ended up with cavities.  My other three (youngest is four) all have never had any issues and we are not that religious about dental care (I'm an obsessive brusher and flosser and always have been and by the time I was 21 I had 8 crowns... I only have two teeth without any fillings! -so that has made me a bit cynical about the whole thing, especially since so many people I know that hardly ever brush and never floss have perfect teeth, ugh, and so I let my kids take care of their teeth however they desire).  We don't do sugar, but my kids eat lots of dried fruit and of course loads of carbs!  They also were all breastfed on demand and nursed to sleep (and I never rinsed or wiped or brushed their teeth or used fluoride except for my oldest) at least 2.5 years. 

post #7 of 22
Any digestive issues? Dental decay is a huge sign for Celiac.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

I just happened by and saw there were posts here- thank you! I find this process so confounding. On the one hand- our vegan diet for the past two years has super-powered my health and I'm sure has done alot of good for DD too. On the other hand, the resources available for natural and nutritional healing of teeth point to eating animal products.  Add to that alot of food sensitivities and we are left with little to eat!!!!

Ygle- thank you for sharing about your kids. When your 2 year old has 8 cavities, you question everything . I am REALLY happy to hear there are vegan kids out there with strong teeth! Even without religious tooth cleaning.

Sandybeachbums- thanks for your creative thinking on celiac. Ive had genetic testing on her for this because she had strong reactions to my ingestion of wheat/gluten when she was a babe. She is predisposed to gluten sensitivity but has had very little in her life. I cut it out by 6-8 mo and since then her Dad snuck her some bread crumbs a few times. Bread leads tonightwaking and diaper rash but she's had so little it would seem it shouldn't be an issue unless we are getting ALOT of crosscontamination of other grains. It doesnt seem that this would have ruined her teeth since we cut it out so early but I am not a celiac expert.

post #9 of 22
My 2.5yo DS has no teeth issues & he's been vegan since birth (well, since conception!!) so I don't think being vegan would necessarily be the cause. That sounds rough & I hope you are able to figure out what's going on!!
post #10 of 22

My DS is only 19 months, but has a mouthful of teeth. He saw the dentist last week and has no cavities. He eats a mostly vegan diet. He has a tiny amount of cheese here and there, but that's about all the dairy he eats. He also doesn't like eggs.

 

I hope you find what's causing the decay, mama. hug2.gif

post #11 of 22

My 3 kids are vegan, and none of them have any cavities.  They brush their teeth once or twice each day with fluoride toothpaste, and now they floss too.  But their diet is nowhere near perfect.  They eat lots of fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, breads, etc. They also have candy and dessert several times each week. 

 

I read something interesting at the dentist office last time we were there.  Apparently, some people have plaque that is more acidic than other people's.  This causes cavities.  The dentist was advertising some procedure in which he could coat the teeth with some substance which could change the pH of the child's plaque, and thus cavities wouldn't form.  I know that you can also have your child's teeth coated with some other kind of protective film to prevent decay.  But I don't know if you can when the decay is already happening.... 

 

In my opinion, there is a lot of hype in the research that shows that eating a lot of butter oils, bone broth, etc. gives you better teeth.  I know Weston Price investigated specific cultures which had good dental health.  But this could be due to many factors - genetics, water supply, dental hygiene.....or maybe it was diet.  We don't really know unless his statistics accounted for various confounding factors.  I have not seen any mention of this.   Assuming that only diet is responsible for people's dental health is not good science.   

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dovey View Post

My 3 kids are vegan, and none of them have any cavities.  They brush their teeth once or twice each day with fluoride toothpaste, and now they floss too.  But their diet is nowhere near perfect.  They eat lots of fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, breads, etc. They also have candy and dessert several times each week. 

 

I read something interesting at the dentist office last time we were there.  Apparently, some people have plaque that is more acidic than other people's.  This causes cavities.  The dentist was advertising some procedure in which he could coat the teeth with some substance which could change the pH of the child's plaque, and thus cavities wouldn't form.  I know that you can also have your child's teeth coated with some other kind of protective film to prevent decay.  But I don't know if you can when the decay is already happening.... 

 

In my opinion, there is a lot of hype in the research that shows that eating a lot of butter oils, bone broth, etc. gives you better teeth.  I know Weston Price investigated specific cultures which had good dental health.  But this could be due to many factors - genetics, water supply, dental hygiene.....or maybe it was diet.  We don't really know unless his statistics accounted for various confounding factors.  I have not seen any mention of this.   Assuming that only diet is responsible for people's dental health is not good science.   


Read his book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration," I think it's pretty good science.  Can't judge something you haven't looked into.

 

My son was vegan until about 3 and he has horrible tooth decay.  We brushed and stuff, but he has really bad reflux and it ate his enamel.  He also got his first tooth at 3.5 months and quickly filled his mouth after that during his worst reflux, so that heavily influenced his decay.  I was vegan with my daughter's pregnancy but she doesn't have reflux.  She doesn't have any cavities at this point.  We started dosing with cod liver oil and after 6 months my DD palate expanded, so I do believe that diet can affect tooth structure.  And, yes, we were eating a clean vegan diet with algae DHA supplements and everything.  Both children are still nursing.  We did everything right.

 

post #13 of 22

We have been omnivorous until about 6mo ago.   My kids are now 80% vegan (I don't worry about them having eggs, the occasional milk, chicken, etc) and I am 100% (for food allergies, essentially).  My almost 4-year-old has horrible HORRIBLE tooth decay.  We will be having her front five top teeth crowned (she has an extra bicuspid), and 4 crowns on her molars.  One of her front teeth has actually chipped away to the gumline - she now has a huge space between her front teeth.  Her bottom teeth, however, are perfectly fine.  There is virtually no enamel at the gumline on 3 of her front teeth.  It also almost even looks like she has flouridosis (sp?) - there are brown spots in addition to the decayed areas.

 

We have seen 3 dentists (one at a pediatric office and two through the School of Pediatric Dentistry at the UW) and they have all told me that it was from the lactose in dairy that affected her teeth.  Well, they also said it was because I nursed on demand and didn't brush after every nursing session, but we know that's mostly faulty information.

 

Here's something interesting - her 5 year old sister who has/had similar nursing and eating habits, has had 3 minor cavities and that's it.  Her teeth are sparkling white and gorgeous. 

 

It could be genetics (I also have bad teeth), poor dental hygiene (I'm lousy at making sure their teeth get brushed, but am getting better about it now!), it could be too much sugar or carbs (remember most starches turn into sugar, and lots of crackers stick in your teeth and dissolve, turn into sugar, and lead to decay spots), bacteria, any number of things.  I know in our house it's between the crackers and poor brushing habits for the culprit.

post #14 of 22

3 vegan kids with great teeth here- I don't think it's lack of animal products! ;) My first thought was vit D deficiency. Whatever the case, best of luck.

post #15 of 22

My children were omnivores as toddlers and all had extensive tooth decay.  (Think 6 plus cavities around 4-6 yrs old).  My children were nursed and never had bottles.  I would say their diet was and is good.

 

Interestingly enough, my children  - who are now 8, 12 and 15 have had almost no cavities in their adult teeth.  

 

I think diet can play a role in decay - but certainly doesn't always.

 

Don't knock yourself over tooth decay -I  have known so many kids with excellent nutrition who have had childhood decay.  It spreads so quickly.  

 

 

post #16 of 22

My older daughter was vegan until 2-3-ish and she had decay that we noticed when she was 2.  I'm wondering just about our low vitamin D levels (we later all were tested and found to be low).  We were really careful about what she ate and brushed her teeth, so we were shocked by the decay.  We did ozone therapy on her teeth and added in D3 supplements from lanolin (rather than fish-sourced) and her teeth seem to be much better, no new spots.  Oh, also K2 on occasion, which I think is a weston price nutrient (there are D3/K2 dots that she gets sometimes).  She's 6 now, so I'm much less worried.

 

Child #2 has had cheese many times, but i'm trying to get us more plant-based.  I've been taking lots of D3 since before my pregnancy, though, so I'm curious to see how her teeth are.  She's 13 months old.

post #17 of 22

Both my kids have the same vegan diet and my five year old has amazingly good teeth and my two year old has horrible teeth. My two year old had to get caps on his four top front teeth and his molars filled at 21 months. His teeth did come in a bit earlier than his brothers but the only other change was where we live and I'm really starting to wonder if it's our drinking water and the fluoride levels here. His teeth started chipping away pretty soon after they came in so it may be more of an enamel issue. I really don't know but I doubt that our diet has anything to do with it.

post #18 of 22

My kids have the same vegetarian diet, my five year old had 6 cavities filled just after her fourth birthday, and just a few weeks ago had to have one of her molars pulled.  My three year old on the other hand has awesome teeth.  Nice and white and great enamel.  The dentist actually asked if I ever used antibiotics during my pregnancy with her because he thinks it's a due to malformation caused in the womb.  He says he doesn't know if her permanent teeth will be affected or not.  I honestly don't know what caused it, but I did use macrobid while I was pregnant with her for UTI's and also had a severe infection during labor and was given antibiotics the 24 hours prior to her birth...  So I don't know.  I also used a z-pak in the 3 days before my son was born, and like I said his teeth are perfect.  Who knows what causes these things.  So many theories.  I have awful teeth and have always had problems with them and my DH has only had one cavity ever, so sometimes I think our daughter just got my bad teeth and our son got his great teeth....  Either way I don't believe it's diet related.  I'm sorry you are dealing with that though!!!

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyBeachBums View Post

Any digestive issues? Dental decay is a huge sign for Celiac.

 

 

I red your post about 6mon ago and I just have to say this changed my and my DD´s life! We went glutenfree that day and it halted her SEVERE cavities (and I realized I´m also gluten sensitive/intolerant)!!!

If you ever need a kidney <3


Edited by darlinglou - 10/10/13 at 8:03am
post #20 of 22

My son who is now seven has had no cavities. I  eat a 98% vegan diet,  He did eat dairy and eggs and very little sugar   No processed food.  I juiced and did a lot of smoothies with him too.  Now he hates them though unfortunately.   Also, nursed for 3 years.  We brush once a day. I think genetics has a lot to do with it.  My mom did not enforce brushing w us and I had numerous cavities growing up.  I wasn't a vegetarian back then.

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