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My baby needs her teeth fixed

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
My dd who just turned 2 in May went to the dentist today. She has 4 cavites on her top 4 teeth. He said one maybe to the nerve and said something about a baby root canal. I'm surprised they didn't have to pick me up off the floor. I am so upset right now I can't sleep. The dentist suggested sedating her and fixing them. He said he'd rather not do GA if we can do it this way. He said she won't remember anything. I am so sad about this. I didn't mention that she still nurses and dh said he thinks I should have because he feels I need to be truthful with the doc. I guess I didn't becasue 1. I know what he would tell me and 2. I don't care what he says about nursing, it is something we do and I don't want to be made to feel gulity about it. I already feel really bad about this. I did nightwean her, well she usually wants to nurse around 4 am, so where did she get these? Is it becasue she nurses all day? That's what the first dentist said. One more thing, our appointment will be at 7am, they said no food but she can have sips of water, do you think I can nurse her in the am before we go? I am going to be crazy by the time this is all over
post #2 of 25
I wouldn't let her nurse the morning of the appointment if he said only water. You don't want to create any complications. What will the dentist say about still nursing? Is that why she is having the problems?
post #3 of 25
Breastmilk is considered a clear fluid, so yes, you can nurse in the morning. Most dentists (and sadly most Drs too) have NO education about breastfeeding.

post #4 of 25
My 2-1/2-old son just went through this last week. I posted about it in a separate thread below. It really was easy.

post #5 of 25
My Dd#2 had light colored bands across all four of her front teeth by about the age of your Dd. I immediately took her to the dentist because we had trouble with Dd #1's teeth & I didn't want to go through that again (I'll explain more about that towards the end.) We finally figured out that the most probable reason for the "bands" or "lines" which were in fact broken down enamel, was that Dd#2 had a high fever (104-105) at 6 wks of age. That can happen while their teeth are forming - also if you took antibiotics while preggo. I cut out night nursing cold turkey - very hard - but even Norma Jean Bumgartner states in her book "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler,' that nursing can have a negative affect on teeth that are already damaged -specifically off colored bands on 4 front top teeth (I'd quote the book, but I just loaned it to somebody.) Anyway, Dd#2 is now 2.5 yrs & we've managed to avoid any further damage (no decay yet) & she goes every 6 mos for a cleaning.
Part 2: Dd#1 went for her first dental visit at age 3. No sugar, no junk, very healthy wf diet. The dentist said her teeth were immaculate & proceeded to take x-rays....he found 6 cavities between her molars!! Every time we went out, I'd pack her a baggie of almonds & raisins - be warned - RAISINS ARE THE DEVIL!!!!!!! We had to take her to the hospital at 6am, no food or drink & have her put under while they filled all 6 at once. It was probably more traumatic for me than her! She had a little trouble upon awaking, nothing serious, she just had trouble speaking from the breathing tube, so they gave her a nebulizar treatment (vapor machine) & she vomited the liquid tylenol that they had snuck her "sleepy juice" into & then she was fine! Honestly, she came home right away & played, didn't even nap!
Ever since, I've always flossed both Dd's each night before bed & brush 2-3 times a day (I do it for them) & absolutely no dried fruit unless it's right before I'm going to floss them!
I've done loads of research on tooth decay in children & various methods of treatment, if you have questions or just need to chat about it, feel free to pm me. hugs to you mama, I remember how upset I was.
post #6 of 25
i've been through various teeth woes with my 4 kids. i think it brings up lots of guilty feelings on part of the mom. just remember, kids who eat all different things get cavities, not just nursing ones. i personally don't think mentioning nursing is important unless general is required, i nursed my little guy (2 1/2 yrs ) 2 minutes before he headed into the dentist's chair. my son needed a baby root canal as well and a couple of other small fillings. it was all done in the chair with the laughing gas. i was so proud of him, it was the longest 20 minutes of my life waiting for him but he just sat there and let them do the work. it really is most traumatizing for the mom i think up until the point where it is done and then you feel much better. my son's mouth hurt from the freezing, that was the worst and i did give him tylenol he was in pain as the freezing came out.

i'm sorry, i understand well the feeling of having your child go through this but you will feel better when it's all done. hang in there!
post #7 of 25
BTDT...Hugs to you Mama
Ditto on the breastmilk beforehand.
As for her not remembering a thing.????? I disagree if she is just having sedation. My dd was sedated and cryed the entire 45 minutes but then was fine as soon as she got up out of the chair. She was very fearful of the dentist for a few more visits though. But with a lot of support and talk she overcame the fear and now at almost 5, she has no problems with the dental work.
As for cause, my first question is....what is your brushing routine? And....then...do you share food, utensils, etc? Often causes of early decay is simply inadequate hygeine and the passing of bacteria from one mouth to another.
There's a lot of info here to get you through this. It's so important to not beat yourself up about this, but to now educate yourself with how to deal. It can be a long journey, but it is possible to get through this. I know from direct experience. My dd is now almost 5 and our journey started when she was 15 months.
Hang in there and read, read, read....
If your husband really thinks you should be honest then make sure you have enough knowledge in you about breastfeeding and caries so that you can stand strong in your decision, and not fold to pressure. Breastmilk in and of itself does not cause caries...
post #8 of 25
i agree, your little one will remember if they aren't under general ... my little guy talked about what went on for quite some time ... the nitrous oxide relaxes them enough to have the work done but doesn't erase memory ...
post #9 of 25
My dd didn't have nitrous oxide, only the oral sedative which is actually an antihistamine to cause drowsiness.
In retrospect, I would have asked for nitrous as well as the sedative....actually, now knowing what I know, I would have asked for nitrous oxide and then used natural sedatives that are talked of here in the archives. (Rescue Remedy and "roman chamomile" and "peace and calming" essential oils).
Another tip...dd did great in her subsequent appointments where she wrapped her special blanket around her and then I held her hands for comfort. As opposed to the initial appointment where she was strapped with the papoose. Again, in retrospect I would have refused the papoose.
But like I said, she was traumatized by the experience, but the trauma did pass and now she is a great dental patient. Very brave and fine with any of the procedures.
Good luck!
post #10 of 25
My son just turned 3 on Friday. A few days before he had his first dental appointment. The nurse or whoever she was took a quick look and said he needed a baby root canal. I had never heard of such a thing. But since I knew he had a black spot on his tooth and it was hurting him I agreed. They then proceeded to strap him to a papoose board, load him up with novacaine and work on him. The dentist didn't talk to him at all. No one explained anything they were doing to him. No anesthsia. He was wide awake. The nurse then proceeded to tell him that if he didn't stop crying his mama was going to leave him. She said I would leave and he would have to spend the night with her. I kept saying I was right there and I would not leave him. But this twit kept it up. I just wanted to get my baby out of there. As soon as they were finished I got him out of there. They said to bring him back in 6 months. But I don't think so. I wrote them a nasty letter and told them what I think about her and their office. When I got home I called our insurance company and complained. But I still feel so bad for my little guy. He's going to have to go to the dentist many more times in his life. But he is so tramatized. I would have thought they would have examined his teeth and then made another appointment to work on him. Also I think they should have talked to him about what they were doing. All I could do was touch the top of his foot, (the only think not strapped down) and tell him I would never leave him. My baby has already lost his birth mother and then his foster mother. Now when he is terrified, can't move, can't get to his beloved thumb, this dimwit is telling him I am going to leave him too. I am just so outraged by this whole thing I can't think straight even now over a week later.

post #11 of 25

Site To Read And Print For Your Dentists Who Are Saying Nursing Is Responsible.....

Kathi- BIG That's HORRIBLE what they did to you and your son!

I am getting ready for all this, my 20 month old has had a brown spot on his front upper tooth for about a year. Yep, we haven't done a thing about it but watch it, we just feel like it's not bothering him so we will wait until something happens (stupid probably). Anyway, the other day he fell, not even a hard fall, and that tooth chipped and it looks AWFUL. So, we are going to a ped dentist in a few weeks and they are going to give me grief when I tell them I am nursing him at night/day whenever he wants and NOT stopping. I know what caused it-we have 2 older children and got lazy thinking of the 'babys' teeth', just didn't pay that close attention when his first teeth came in (unlike with our first child, we were on top of all that!)

I KNOW nursing him is NOT the problem-think of this, if night nursing caused teeth to rot, we as a human race would have died out thousands/millions of years ago!

Anyway, I have a GREAT link for all of you! It's about breastfeeding and teeth and it's VERY supportive of the fact that nursing/human milk does NOT cause cavities, in fact it has cavity fighting properties. There's a lot of research on this site so PRINT IT and take it with you, be armed!

post #12 of 25
Originally Posted by alegna
Breastmilk is considered a clear fluid, so yes, you can nurse in the morning. Most dentists (and sadly most Drs too) have NO education about breastfeeding.

I was told my DD could not nurse. Were you told otherwise?
post #13 of 25
When I took my DD to the ped dentist at 12 mos they said she has 4 cavities!!! My first thought was how could this be! She does feed from a bottle, she is BF (exclusively for almost 9 mos b/c she was not interested in solids when we tried from 6.5 mos on...), no sugary or stinky foods. In 3 months she 4 cavities...this did not sound right to me. the dentist went on to tell me that it was due to breastfeeding. Now, I could not respond as i wanted because i was still trying to calm DD down and pick my jaw up from the floor, as I was literall floored to hear this and then be slapped in the face with it is because of breastfeeding. Needless to say I went to get a second opinion, not because I didn't think she has any cavities; i saw them myself. But to see another ped dentist to give some more insight as to why this happening. I found a ped dentist who is VERY PRO BFING! His wife, who also works with them is LLL Leader. DD is apparently prone to cavities which has NOTHING to do with Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding alone can not cause cavities. My DH has had issues with his teeth (as I found out as we found about DD''s teeth). So the recommendation we received that her 4 teeth need to be capped and she needs to be sedated to do this. I am scared to say the least! If there is another alternative to this procedure at such a young age (she is now 15 mos and we are waiting to get an appt) I am ALL EARS!
post #14 of 25

see the above website for some great printable research!
post #15 of 25
Originally Posted by mommamin
I was told my DD could not nurse. Were you told otherwise?
I was told it is considered a solid after 6 months old.
post #16 of 25
Originally Posted by lactationmom

see the above website for some great printable research!
post #17 of 25
I know this is totally controversial, but this is what we did to stop the decay until DD was old enough to sit willingly for the dentist to fix her teeth. If the decay has already gone into the nerve, then you have no choice but to get it fixed immediately. Luckily this was not the case for us and so we did a combination of extreme diet change (Nourishing Traditions style except with LOADS of vegetables both raw and cooked) and topical fluoride treatments. The topical fluoride will kill the decay causing bacteria, as well as allow the re-enamelization to occur much stronger. We did the treatments in-office every 2 months and also did very teeny amounts of fluoride toothpaste (Toms of Maine) at home, the size of a grain of rice, either brushed or rubbed on as many times a day as possible. Optimally it is 7 x a day. I am very convinced of the effects of topical fluoridation, though am opposed to internal consumption of the stuff.

As the tooth decay dies, it will turn darker. When it is black, you know that it is dead. Read this thread for details and references on both color and fluoride treatments: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=282442

Breastfeeding can indeed cause tooth decay if the mother's diet is not optimal. Diet during pregnancy is also important as the baby's teeth enamel forms at this time. So if the diet is deficient, then the baby will not have proper tooth formation and thus be more susceptible to decay. If mama's diet is not sufficent during lactation, then there will not be enough free minerals or optimal balance of nutrients so that re-enamelization will not occur. If you are also suffering tooth and gum problems during breastfeeding, you may want to check your diet.

Native populations did not have problems with breastfeeding/baby tooth decay because they were eating proper diets which included loads of fibrous foods and very little sticky, easily fermented carbohydrates (like white bread) and no suboptimal foods like things in packages. When we as modern people eat things that stick to our teeth, then add breastmilk on top, then serious decay can occur.

But if mama's diet is deficient, then just breastmilk alone will cause decay due to baby's weak teeth and not enough minerals/nutrients in the milk. Please don't start flaming me and posting studies about how starving people in Third World countries are able to breastfeed their babies just fine, I have already debunked this in the Nutrition forum. They are only concerned with their babies getting enough milk to survive, not milk of optimal nutrient quality which will allow their babies to thrive. Breastmilk, just like raw cow's milk, is a fermentable substance that will sour naturally if left out on its own. The sugars will ferment into acids, which is what makes yogurt tart. It is only with proper diet that the re-enamelization can occur and repair any damage through and because of breastmilk, not that generic breastmilk from every single mama in the world is some magical substance that will protect the teeth no matter what. If you put garbage in your mouth, then garbage will come out of your breasts. Your body will do the best it can with what it has, though, but it won't be enough if you're deficient.

If the decay is localized in the top 4 teeth area, then it is due to a liquid on the teeth. Usually it is seen with juice in bottles or sippy cups, but can be seen strictly because of breastmilk, again only if mama's diet is deficient. This was my case. My DD was strictly breastfed but developed rampant decay in the top 4 teeth.

Dakota'smom, hugs to you. My dd also experienced restraint at another dentist before I found my wonderful current gentle one, and she was traumatized for months afterwards. Nightmares, tantrums, trust issues, it was terrible. I feel for you and your little one.

My apologies in advance if my post sounds irritated. I am recovering from a stomach bug so I'm not feeling my best right now.

Hope that helps and feel free to ask questions!
post #18 of 25
Wow! I had no idea, this is very informative!

Thanks for that info, we might start doing the topical fluoride toothpaste several times a day (carefully) and see if that helps.
post #19 of 25
I think toraji's point about the mother's diet affecting BM as it relates to health of the child's teeth makes a lot of sense. I was wondering why so many of us who are exclusively BFing without bottles to sleep are having problems with the top front teeth.

I'm going to take steps to try and improve my diet, which has been far from great for quite awhile.
post #20 of 25
My daughter has also had luck with the topical fluoride. She is 2.5 (she will be 3 in December). At 20 months she had a cavity (large) which was filled under IV sedation. In April, we took her in for her 6 month checkup to find a small amt. of decay. The doctor prescribed topical fluoride, we have been using it since and the decay has stopped and ,like toraji stated, has turned black. I wonder, will this just stay black until the tooth falls out? Anyway, she has been to the dentist 3 times since then and it has remained the same...so we continue with the fluoride and hope for the best. We use the prescribed fluoride at bedtime. To note: She had a minor head injury at 16 months and needed stitches in her forehead, she was strapped to a papoose and has been very fearful of doctors just until recently. Aimee
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