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#1 of 16 Old 04-13-2010, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I took my son to the dentist last week, in complete and blissful denial, and left with a treatment plan to put him under general anesthesia for an estimated hour and a half, pull two teeth, and fill four others. I knew there was an issue. I still don't completely know why. He's never had a lot of sugar. I'd say, by today's standards, he has an above average diet. I can't understand HOW this happened. What did I do? In my search for a reason, I am having my tap water tested, trying to night wean, cutting juice in half with water (trying to eliminate altogether), cutting out any sugary snacks, and looking up diet and nutrition for tooth decay. It is a tough thing to be faced with. The damage is done, right? Still, I want to avoid having my son put under for any amount of time, much less over an hour. He IS only two years old. These are his baby teeth. Getting a second opinion is an option, but without dental insurance, an expensive one. I have looked into an area holistic dentist as well, but again finances don't allow for that option. I guess, what I am looking for is support, suggestions, to know if anyone has any similar stories. I just want to feel less alone in this. Less like I've ruined my son for life. Less like it's my fault. I desperately want it to just go away, and his smile to be pearly white. But to be realistic, I just want for him not to have to get this work done. Any ideas? Has anyone ever tried one of these diets to help reverse tooth decay? Any success at it? How long before you see results, or is it more of a "keep it where it is" thing? Lots of questions, I know. But, I'm feeling desperate.
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#2 of 16 Old 04-13-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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No ideas, just support. I am in a similar situation, with a 2 year old son that has tooth decay and I am being advised to have him put under for work to be done on his cavities.

I can tell you that we were given a product called MI paste by a dentist that we interviewed recently, and that it has been helping his teeth a LOT. If I would have known about this stuff before, I could have prevented the cavities that he has now. I feel just like you, we were doing everything "right," and now here we are. My other son has been eating the same diet, nursed at night till he was almost 2, and everything... not one cavity. I feel so bad for my baby.

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#3 of 16 Old 04-14-2010, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you tell me more about this "MI paste"? I'm interested to look into it. I googled it, but am having trouble finding a list of ingredients...I tend to lean away from flouride, and try to avoid anything that isn't all natural. That being said, I am willing to try anything that sounds reasonable to keep from having my son put under anesthesia--which is far from natural. So I am definitely interested in a paste that may prevent it!!
I am also looking into a diet that is supposed to reverse the effects of decay... it is based on research by Weston A Price. Seems that, if anything, it may at least halt any further problems. I don't really know enough to say, though. Maybe it will help you as well...
I feel bad for my boy too. It's hard not to. He isn't in any pain, but I have dental problems myself, and never wanted my children to go through them. (Mine are from lack of care when I was younger, so I have trouble accepting that genetics has very much to do with my son's issues). But here I am...
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#4 of 16 Old 04-14-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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It's totally natural, no flouride. I think it has xylitol. Let me see if I can find a link for you...here

http://www.mi-paste.com/recaldent.php

It contains calcium phosphate, which remineralizes the tooth naturally. I think I remember seeing xylitol on the label, too, but I'll have to run upstairs and check. There is also MI paste PLUS, which DOES contain flouride and is for kids over 6.

Ask your dentist about it. Our dentist just gave a talk about it in Bermuda at a dental conference.

After brushing you just put a bb sized amount on your finger and rub it along the gumline. Have him wait to swallow for a little while, and see if you can get him to swish it around in his mouth a bit. Then have him spit. Then he can just go to bed with the stuff on his teeth.

I was afraid of flouride, too, but now my 4 y.o. is using a flouride rinse every other night and using the MI paste the other nights. I would rather have him exposed to some flouride than have him get cavities...

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#5 of 16 Old 04-14-2010, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it prescription only? I'm a wondering if my dentist would prescribe it. Or know about it. He is a pediatric dentist, and was just so quick to recommend we get this work done, no alternatives. I am a bit skeptical of him. Maybe I am just paranoid, or still trying to live in denial. Who knows? But I am considering a second opinion. I don't want to presume this guy is wrong, and cause further problems for my son. But I am getting a little excited that I may not have to do anything quite so invasive. Oh, if I can just use a special toothpaste, and change his diet some.....
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#6 of 16 Old 04-14-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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We were told by the dentist who gave us the MI paste that Pediatric dentists are a joke. They take advantage of people who are trying to be good parents by caring for their children's teeth early, and love to "drill and fill" everything. Even if it doesn't need it or can be managed other ways, which is why he gave us the MI paste to try first.

He also told us that most pediatric dentists don't even have monitoring equipment in their offices, which I can't believe isn't required by law, but it's not. That scared the heck out of me. And he told me that nitrous doesn't really work that well, that kids won't breath out of their noses enough to get any of it and that they can be going in and out during a procedure which = pain and fear. Our new dentist prioritizes the future feelings the child will have about dentists and takes a "watch and wait" tack with most things... like the 3 "cavities" my 4 y.o. had.... NOT... that the pediatric dentist told us needed to be filled right away... NOT... all they are are defects in his enamel that he may have been born with, or they may have been active cavities at one time but aren't anymore. He said not to bother.

He also told us that most of the work ped. dentists do is so bad that it will fall out before the child's teeth do, and that is why he would rather watch and wait.

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#7 of 16 Old 04-14-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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We went the watch and wait way with my ds. The reason for this is because I was not willing to risk GA so we waited till he was old enough and till I could find a dentist who would do in office sedation without putting him all the way to sleep.

I am very happy I went this way ds has no memory of the treatment and wants to actually go back I wont use that dentist again because of his no parents in the room policy but he did good work and a lot of it. all but 4 of ds's teeth needed work.

 
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#8 of 16 Old 04-15-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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You definitely need a second opinion before GA. Were x-rays done? We just had a lot of work done by a completely amazing pediatric dentist - no sedation. If you're in the NY/NJ area I can give you his name. I can't recommend him highly enough. He also does ozone which is a new therapy to arrest decay. Ozone can be dangerous to the lungs but when I felt my choices were 1-2 ozone exposures vs. GA I think it is much better.

Besides nutritional changes, here are some things you can start doing to arrest the decay:

- Brush after every meal, 3x a day. Try to condense eating to 5x a day and eliminate all day snacking (hard for some toddlers, I know) Use a toothpaste with xylitol

- Give sips of xylitol water or xylitol candies after snacks. You want 5 exposures to the xylitol per day to change the oral bacteria.

- Be absolutely certain the teeth are clean of all food before bed but don't night wean. Breastmilk protects baby teeth and assists remineralization.

-- Buy the MI Paste (off Amazon) it is fluoride free. I sneak it onto his teeth after he falls asleep. It works with time + saliva so that is the best exposure I can get for my almost 2 year old.

If you're ready to do fluoride, you can put a tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste directly on the spots after he falls asleep, or get a tiny paint brush and paint a little bit of fluoride containing mouth wash on the affected teeth

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#9 of 16 Old 04-15-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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You can also ask your dentist for the flouride "paint" to put on his teeth at night. This has been shown to stop decay even in 3rd world countries in babies with milk (formula) caries.

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#10 of 16 Old 04-15-2010, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is excellent. I have been so worried about this. We have known for almost a year, and progression is slow but there. I am hoping to save him from having any work done, but if I can just hold it off until he's old enough not to need GA, I will feel better about having it done (but still worried about the stress he will feel). I will meet a lot of resistance over night weaning. My husband thinks that is why they are the way they are, and pushes me to wipe his mouth if I am going to continue. I have trouble finding anything to support my "I just don't see HOW breast milk would HURT baby teeth. It just doesn't make sense!" He doesn't see that as a good enough argument. can't imagine why...Do you know where I can find supporting evidence FOR breastfeeding? I am still on the fence about flouride. There is sooooo much conflicting "evidence". Wish there were some unbiased studies, but as with all things, it is ultimately up to me to sift through the crap. And there is an abundance of that! Anyway, thank you for so much great info. I think the paste, and xylitol are at least a start. I already brush 3x a day. Depending on what he eats, sometimes more. Great help. Thanks again!
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#11 of 16 Old 04-16-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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First we had been going to a bad dentist, who was increasingly rude about nursing until I nightweaned my all-night-nurser. Then we found a great dentist, who said not to wean her completely, but DD was nightweaned already (and had been for 3 months or so). He explained that he would like a stretch of time where DD wasn't nursing, eating, or drinking, but that it didn't necessarily have to be at night, it's just that it's usually easier then schedule wise.

His explanation was that with very young children, you're never going to get everything off food particle wise. They just don't let you brush well enough, long enough, completely enough. During the night, the mouth gets drier, which slows down the activity of the bacteria feeding on the teeth. He said the key is to have a 5 hour stretch or more where the child is not eating or drinking anything, which lets the mouth dry out a little, slows the bacteria, and lets the teeth remineralize. Our dentist's time criteria was 5 hours at least without anything in the mouth. So it's not that night nursing per se is a problem, it's that the teeth aren't getting an extended break from being wet. Cups of water at night would have the same issue.

Also so you know, my DD has had work done on about 8 baby teeth, including one crown. She had trouble eating, one of her teeth was decaying when it came through, and my brother had similar problems as an infant. Her adult teeth seem fine though. I haven't really changed her diet, as that was pretty good before. I did xylitol stuff for a while, but now it's not specific, it's just that some of the things we happen to eat have xylitol; I don't think it's doing much here. We do use flouride toothpaste, a small amount. We brush very well and regularly. I try to do less grazing.

And DS has had no problems with his teeth at all.

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#12 of 16 Old 04-16-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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Actually drying out the teeth at night is known to contribute to tooth decay.

Here is a response to the question by Michael Odent on Mothering:
http://www.mothering.com/co-sleeping-night-nursing

Here is an article mostly based on Dr. Erickson's research
http://www.brianpalmerdds.com/bfeed_caries.htm

The two big important points are 1.) Breastmilk is NOT cariogenic and 2.) Breastmilk deposits calcium and phosphorus into the enamel (remineralization)

There are no studies that have ever shown breastmilk + teeth = decay. There are studies that show that food on the teeth = decay and breastmilk + food = decay but I think the common denominator there is very clear. You absolutely have to get the teeth fully clean before bed.

We use a kids sonicare which is easier and faster to get rid of the food. DS doesn't usually mind getting his teeth brushed but at night he gets crabby about it sometimes so I do hold him down. I sit on the floor with my legs out and pin his arms with each leg, head up near my lap. It sounds awful but mad at me is better than dental work and overall we have an easy time brushing.

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#13 of 16 Old 04-16-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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I was worried about the flouride for a long time, too. But here's the deal, if it's going to help my kids teeth (which it has) and it's going to keep him from needing tons of work (don't know that yet), it's worth whatever teeny tiny risk there is. We don't have flouridated water, so there is no exposure there, and the small amount I am using on his teeth is not going to hurt, IMO. OP, you have to get to your own place about this but in my experience, the flouride has helped, and if you want my advice, FWIW, I would start using flouridated toothpaste and teaching him to spit. My ds is not even 2 1/2 and he is spitting great. Use an amount of paste that is smaller than a pea (I use like a BB sized amount) and practice spitting. Practice spitting with no paste first.

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#14 of 16 Old 04-16-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by xekomaya View Post
Actually drying out the teeth at night is known to contribute to tooth decay.

The "dry mouth" Odent is talking about is a genetic condition and it causes decay because saliva with remineralizing elements isn't on the teeth often enough during day and night. He's not talking about the practice of letting saliva stay on the teeth overnight instead of rising it off with water or breastmilk all night long. Nursing patterns or even water drinking patterns where the child is constantly day and night rinsing saliva off of the teeth don't help the teeth remineralize. That pattern can be a problem in my experience.

Each parent has to decide flouride or no flouride; loud sonicare brush (would terrify my kids) and sitting on your child to brush or brushing as well as reasonable with the child's cooperation; nightweaning, partial nightweaning or not nightweaning (I would have just stretched out the time between the two most spaced nursing sessions rather than full nightweaning with DD if I had known; DS has no caries issues, and he goes longer than 5 hours without nursing anyway though, and has for over a year); cavities filled/watched/special pastes/Price's diet shifts; GA versus laughing gas versus local anesthetic (our route even for the crown).

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#15 of 16 Old 04-16-2010, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have always thought the reason people push night weaning had everything to do with breast milk's lactose content. I had never looked at it from either of these perspectives. While I am more inclined to agree with the idea that keeping the teeth free of any liquid over a long period of time is more detrimental, I can't completely dismiss it. I have never heard that. So, I know nothing of it. I just tend to think, if breast milk is what we are supposed to have to nourish, it makes no sense for it to be bad for our teeth. It serves to reason that it is natural for babies to want to nurse whenever they need to, and that breast milk should help, not hurt, our development, including our teeth. I have done very little research, it just makes sense this way to me. I totally agree that these decisions are case specific. Up to each individual family and problem. What is best for me might not be for you. And my belief in something doesn't mean it is true for you. So, all this information, and all of these perspectives just show me a different point of view. I love it.
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#16 of 16 Old 04-17-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
The "dry mouth" Odent is talking about is a genetic condition and it causes decay because saliva with remineralizing elements isn't on the teeth often enough during day and night.

.....

loud sonicare brush (would terrify my kids) and sitting on your child to brush or brushing as well as reasonable with the child's cooperation; nightweaning, partial nightweaning or not nightweaning
The "dry mouth" comment was only referring to your particular explanation of drying out teeth - nothing more.

I don't know or care how you parent. You can make it sound awful - sitting on my kids - but yeah there are things that happen in my house with or without cooperation. I don't use a car seat "as well as reasonable" so long as my child cooperates, and I wouldn't let a baby sit in a poopy diaper until they feel like having it changed, brushing is the same in my house. Sure cooperation is fantastic, but I sure hope that no one is thinking that night weaning is any substitute for good oral hygiene.

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