|I never thought this thread would go on for so long...
Guess the OP hit on a hot topic.
I actually find it rather strange that it struck such a cord on this forum since exclusively breastfed-on-demand babies don't tend to do the comfort-nursing thing (although there are exceptions, of course).
|Ditto. My dentist tells me to drink from a straw whenever possible.
That's because you're an adult. He assumes you don't walk around all day with a straw in your mouth (as do I).
Okay, for everybody I confused, here
is a long explanation:
The tooth decay (baby bottle mouth) comes from the DURATION of contact with teeth. Especially with sweet drinks like fruit tea (very popular in Europe), juice, milk, soda, etc. I think water doesn't have the same effect. The damage happens when the liquid pools around the teeth (hence his admonition to use a straw). The less contact liquids have with the teeth the better, which is why breastfed babies have less tooth decay (the nipple is pulled to the very back of the mouth and the milk goes directly down the throat) than bottle-fed babies (who tend to suck on the tip of the nipple, although there are better bottle nipples available now).
The best (most teeth-friendly) way to drink is from a straw or a normal cup, drinking a relatively large amount at one time and then putting down the cup and giving your teeth a chance to recover. Also, 2 glasses of watered-down juice is worse for your teeth than one glass of pure juice followed by a glass of water. Walking around all day (or, God forbid, lying down all night) comfort-nursing from a bottle or sippy is the worst way to drink.