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What does your dentist tell you about breastfeeding and dental caries?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Is it quite common among dentists to blame breastfeeding on dental caries in babies and toddlers? A friend of mine recently went through the ordeal of having her 18 month old sedated for a pulpectomy and the dentist and the consulting dentist both blamed the mom for breastfeeding at night and beyond 6 months, telling her babies should at least be nightweaned by that age and given water only. 


I gave my friend the Mothering article Big Bad Cavities so she could discuss it more with her dentist but I was so surprised to hear that this is still the opinion of some dentists. Anyone else hearing the same thing?

post #2 of 5

Yes. Our dentist told us the same thing. And she was a pediatric dentist.

Our DD has 2 cavities. One on her molar and one one the back of her front teeth. She said that it was due to breastfeeding at night and juice and sweets. We told her that our child had never had juice or sweets or dried fruit. She said that babies shouldn't breatfeed throughout the night after they get teeth.

This first dentist also said that our DD needed a root canal for the front teeth.


We changed dentists.

Our new dentist didn't say breast feeding was the cause. But she did say that night feeding can contribute to dental carries if the baby holds the milk in their mouth. But she basically blamed our DD teeth for the cavities. Her teeth are really close together with no space between them. And she said some kids just get cavities easier than others.

The second dentist does not think our DD needs a root canal. And she doesn't know how any dentist could come to that conclusion as she said that the cavity wasn't that bad or deep. She is now being treated with ozone treatments. If it doesn't help she may need a filling at some point.

post #3 of 5

We have a great article on our website about this topic: http://sdbfc.com/blog/2012/12/19/does-breastfeeding-cause-cavities.html

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

colsxjack - thanks for sharing your experience. It's so encouraging to hear how your second dentist is approaching the issue and trying to offer less invasive treatment and 

advice too. Please let us know how it goes. I;ve never heard of ozone treatment so more info on that would be great for parents facing the same issues with their little ones.


Hi Robin and welcome to Mothering! Thanks for sharing your website's article with our community. I suggest you also share Mothering's Big Bad Cavities: Breastfeeding Is Not The Cause. It contains a wealth of information from Medline articles on the topic, statements from La Leche League International, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Dental Academy, and information, statistics and information from Kevin Hale, a pediatric dentist who serves on the Section on Pediatric Dentistry for the American Academy of Pediatrics. 


Robin, I would be interested in hearing what you have found to be the case with dentists today. Do you find that the majority still blame breastfeeding on dental caries? If so, is it as my friend's dentist and colsxjack's dentist stated? - that babies should not be breastfed at night after they have teeth?

post #5 of 5

We have a great pedi dentist, but yeah that is his view. He didn't push us to wean but did greatly encourage it. Also the literature given in other dental offices says similar stuff.

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