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Told to Wean? Dentist/Mom's opinion on BF/Dental Caries - Page 4

post #61 of 80

preventing cavities in a nightnurser

my 14mo. old daughter is nursing a lot, both day and night, and I am not very successfull in night-weaning her. I am afraid of her getting cavities, so I was wondering what else could I do to prevent her teeth going bad. I read about putting a few drops of water with tea tree oil - how strong does it have to be to be efective? I am afraid to make it too strong, but then if it is too diluted, it could be useless too.
Could I start using a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste while brushing her teeth? The instructions on the toothpastes say to start at 2 yrs or so.
Do I brush her teeth after every time she nurses, or giving her some water to drink is ok? I am really concerned and lost - will really appreciate your input. Thanks a bunch.
post #62 of 80
I had a 2 year old (now 3) who was an avid nighnurseer and ended up with lots of cavities. We were vigiliant about everyhting else. It is a bit of a controversy if nightnursing has a direct link.

Start by making sure her daily diet is good-
No juice or limited juice and milk.
No raisens and things that stick
No crackers that will turn to sugars
(If you do any of these things-hard to avoid- it is important to brush afterwards)
And limit how much you share food with her, since the bacteria in your mouth might get into hers and cause cavities.

My dentist says taht floride toothpaste is pretty useless. The ingrideients in the paste conteract the floride. YOU may have floride in your water and be getting enough. I would consult a dentis about foride before you made any descisions, bec the best option- floride gel applies directly to her teeth- you have to make sure she can truly spit it all out and not swallow.

Tea tree oil-
YOu should be able to do a search on it. Lots of mothers here have tried it. I was not succesful, but I think a few drop per 6 ounces of water is a good amount. Then you can dribble it into her mounth after each nursing. One mother put it on her finger and then rubbed it on.

After each nursing, you shoudl take a soft cloth and rub her teeth and gums, this is essentially brushing her teeth afterwards.
Also, make sure that you are drinking water, so that she has some water in that breastmilk. Saliva production is a fighting defense against cavities, so she needs to stay well hydrated at night.
Also, start teaching her how to swish and spit. We started with just spitting water out- like a whale or into diff items to be exciting. This willhelp move particles out of her mouth. I found this really helpful- so that when we were at playgroups where she had digested tons of crackers or someone elses cookies, I couldnt brush her teeth- but she would use mouthwash that I caarried before we left.
And the last thing- take her to a dentist. The dentist can give you a headsup if anything is forming, and it will get her used to the experience. Most do a short visit for free at this age. YOu can also ask the dentist waht to look for (in our case it was white streaks that even her peditircian said just some kids have- nope, cavities).

Anyhow, I gave you a lot ideas, but really until you see a poblems, you only need to implement a few of them. And sorry about my spelling mistakes, it is pretty late my time.
take care,
post #63 of 80

for eveymom with baby with decay...

my dd is barely two and has decay. i've been sweating, stressing crying, researching, pulling my hair out... trying to rationalize the situation --where did I go wrong? what do I do?

well it isn't always as bad as it seems. dd does have pretty bad decay and we'll be regulars at the pediatric dds. BUT its not as bad as I thought it might be. DDS isn't fighting my requests, he isn't giving me a hard time for refusing to quit nursing and he makes balloon animals.

what I am getting at is --it isn't really that bad. at least our little ones don't have some life threatening illness...

and we can't blame ourselves --we, as moms, are doing our best! i was beating myself up for weeks (and we are almost vegans and use next to no sweetners and NO refined foods, we breast feed, co-sleep, i'm at home 24/7 and on and on...) I am A GOOD MOM, still, even though we have to go to the dds!!

So sisters in mothering and in dental woes...
it really isn't that bad is it?
post #64 of 80
I'm just gonna cut and paste this from the other thread, simonee -- you're awesome!

First off, simonee, thank God for you. You are awesome. Let me thank you once again! Sometimes I'm so swamped, I can only read and reply to emergencies. I feel so bad not being able to give a decent reply, and then there you are, with your flawless information and big warm shoulder and comfort. Thank you!

Isn't she great?

And plant momma, you are so right. You definitely did the right thing for your child, for her teeth and for her overall health, and you, too, AuNaturel. I know, and many moms on this board know, how difficult and heartwrenching it can be to see your child through any significant health problem, but it is truly worth while.

I just can't seem to understand why teeth are considered expendable, or as something other than a contributing part of the whole. If your child had a bacterial infection (which is what a cavity is) of his hand, and it had eaten a hole in it that was filled with pus (which is what happens to the jawbone in a dental infection after deep cavities) so that the child couldn't use his hand normally (which is what happens when cavities prevent a person from comfortably eating) and a finger or two were "just brown nubs" (I'm sorry to use your words, Chaka Falls, but they fit here), WHY IS THAT OKAY? Allowing an infection to go untreated in an innocent child, helpless to procure their own treatment, is just not okay with me, and is, in fact, considered child neglect and abuse by the law.

Ack, okay, rant over. Sorry, I get all in a lather when it comes to children. It never bothers me when adults come in with neglected mouths, but the children can make me cry. Or scream.

What was the topic again? Oh, yeah.

Radicalmother, you have been given some wonderful advice so far, and I cannot add to it. The archives here have a wealth of information for you on all of your questions, and some you may not have thought of! You DO NOT have to wean your child. Breastmilk can contribute, in certain situations, but it can be ameliorated, too. My own dd would not sleep without my nipple in her mouth, for 3 years! And she does not have a single stain, let alone a cavity, so I know it can be done. Good luck to you, please post again if you have any specific questions after the archives. I promise not to go off again!
post #65 of 80
And she's actually secretly a dentist, and doesn't want anyone to know ...

Simonee is the best, she's got all the right info and a big heart, as well.

Check out "told to wean?" especially on the archives, although there's a lot more.

She's got you on the right track, I can't add a thing!

post #66 of 80

An article I wrote a while back on BF

While I was getting the forensics article for Carrie, I ran across this one as well. I remember someone asking to see it, but I was not able to figure how to move it from *there* to *here*.

So here it is: (preaching to the choir, I know! Y'all probably already know all this!)

post #67 of 80

EBF and dentist reaction

O.K. You guys I am so worried about taking ds to the dentist. I know he needs to go just for a look see as he has all his teeth and has not seen a dentist yet...I(he is 32 months) do not fore see any issues as we brush well and his teeth look great except for being a bit gappy.
He still nurses at night and I know I read somewhere that it is important to be honest with your dentist about your nursing at night but I am so nervous b/c this town I am in is soooo stuck in the rockages and mainstreamest mentallity rules at every corner.
All I keep visioning in my head is the dentist and his staff looking at me like I have two heads when I tell them we are still nursing and then of course to get the stupid "you know he should be on to other things by this age and not needing to nurse..." comment and have to punch the dentist in the face....LOL...just kidding...
I have searched the archives and cannot find what I need to back me up with ammo as far as night nursing and dental issues, so if anyone has any thoughts .....
post #68 of 80
Hi, I totally understand your concerns. I took dd to a dentist bc she is showing signs of tooth decay on her front teeth. I went to a dentist that my friend recommended and it was a DISASTER! She was so out of line giving advice that she is clearly not trained to dispense. It was all about extended bfing and our need to see a behavior counselor, etc etc. So my next step was calling and 'phone interviewing' the staff and dr's if I could get the on the line. I told them what I wished to see them for and asked their opinion on ga vs oral sedation, what treatment they usually followed for my dd condition. I let them know clear and up front that I was NOT coming in until I had the answers that pleased me. I asked if they allow parents in the treatment area, how they deal with kids crying. I had one dr tell me they will send the parents out of the room if the child cries and then tell the child that the parent can't return unless he stops crying! OMG, and parents go there??? So finally, just today, I saw a fabulous dentist who was very flexible. (my biggest complaints of ALL medical fields is they get into a 'rut' and don't fit the treatment to the patient) The important thing to me was, I didn't spend any further time in consults (or money) but found a dentist that fit MY idea of what was right. Right off the bat she said she didn't think dd's cavities were due to bfing, but more likely some other causes. (I ebf my 11 and 9 year old without a cavity between them). She has agreed to a valium combined with nitrous to spot treat quickly. (one dentist told me dd's top four teeth had to be removed, although this dentist told me that except for one, it is mild decay!) And even the one that is worst, is probably savable. So bottom line is, imho, it is YOUR child and YOUR money. Don't give it to someone who is in YOUR opinion dumb as a box of rocks. I say, get more than one opinion preferable over the phone. I didn't run into ONE office that wouldn't spend the time on the phone with me. I might not have agreed with them, but they were all very courteous and willing to give time.
post #69 of 80
Thank you
Thank You
Thank you
You are right.
I will do the same .
Just what I needed to hear Cori....
post #70 of 80
Why tell?

post #71 of 80


So you are saying I really do not need to??
I think I read that in "Mothering your nursing toddler" that you should tell your dentist about ebf, but seeing that you are one[dentist] and have nursed your children as well, I guess I won't....or don't need to then....lol...
Thanks Smilemomma
as the weight lifts from my shoulders.....
post #72 of 80
I agree. Why tell? I would be sort of surprised ed if the dentist asked. I think most people would assume the child is weaned. If your child has dental problems and the dentist is not supportive or your parenting - then find another dentist.

But I do want to say that I DO understand your concerns. My three year old (who nurses at night AFTER he brushes his teeth) just had his first dental appointment. I was a bit nervous. It went well - the dentist said that my son's teeth looked great and that it was the best first appointment he had ever done. Breastfeeding never came up.

The dentist was our brother-in-law. He may know that our 3 year old still nurses, but he may assume that he is weaned. I don't know.

Good luck.
post #73 of 80
Hey thanks Kathleen
post #74 of 80
It's a dentist. A dentist has to know the things he does that may affect his teeth in a negative way. Bf-ing doesn't, so a dentist doesn't need to know.
post #75 of 80
ahhh-gotcha Simonee...now I am following....lol...
post #76 of 80
... just make sure he doesn't want to bf in the office, like my dd... there would have been no chance to hide it with her (but our dentist never asked. And I picked him because some mamas here had done the research to find out that he was the ONLY pro-bf dentist in town )

Anyways, he's old enough to make a deal. No bf-ing at the dentist, but extra afterward or a cool little toy
post #77 of 80
Originally posted by simonee
...Anyways, he's old enough to make a deal. No bf-ing at the dentist, but extra afterward or a cool little toy
good idea I did think of this as well.....wish us luck
post #78 of 80

Tell us when the appt will be ~ I'll be thinking of you both.

here's the boob smilie????????
post #79 of 80

My Dentist

On the new patient questionairre it asked a question when did your child stop nursing or drinking from a bottle?
So there was no way of avioiding the issue. However I'm not sure if he ever read the form because he never brought it up. I would say answer questions honestly if asked but don't discuss nursing unless asked.
post #80 of 80
I know of a medical doctor with a 2 year old who is ebf. You would be suprised how many people are ebf. I will if my daughter wants too.
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