White outline along the top of my toddler's teeth. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-19-2012, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 18 months old. The other day I noticed a white outline on the top of his front teeth near the gum line. I have searched Google, and found out that it could be the beginning of tooth decay.

 

He rarely gets sugar, rarely drinks juice, and when he does, it's always diluted, he's breastfed, and I've been brushing his teeth (almost) every night since his first tooth sprouted! How could this have happened?

 

I am looking for a Dentist, and will be making an appointment on Monday, but I want to know, what's the treatment options for this? What's the visits like?

 

My son was born at 28.6 weeks, and spent 60 days in the NICU. He's gone through enough, and I don't want him to be poked, prodded, and God knows what else.. :(

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#2 of 11 Old 05-19-2012, 07:04 AM
 
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Both my boys have the same thing and we never did sugar or juice either.  With my older son I didn't catch it in time, and he was a constant night nurser....some people think that shouldn't hurt teeth, some say it does....  We ended up needing fillings on some teeth.   We managed to not let it get any worse by brushing very frequently, cutting down on night nursing, and if he did nurse, I would wipe his teeth off after he went to sleep,  some supplements like Vit D and a multi vitamin, along with calcium and Vit D rich foods. 

 

I also kind of think it's genetics too, and whether they had good teeth enamel in the first place.  My son had several teeth that were weak and chipped easily, one had to be capped because the whole tooth was very thin. 

 

I don't think it should be a dramatic visit. Find a good pediatric dentist (we drive an hour to see one) who will let you hold him while they examine him.  If it's just a white line, it's something to watch, but if there are soft spots or holes they might have to do something.  Good luck mama!

 

Oh, and always get a second opinion if you don't like what they recommend, especially if it's something big (doesn't sound like it is though) because dentists are not all the same in approach. And they may want you to come in for regular cleanings, but personally I wouldn't start that at his age because.  I think most kids start seeing a dentist at 3 or 4, if there are no visible problems.

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#3 of 11 Old 05-19-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. That eases my mind a little bit. I am searching for a Pediatric Dentist. I have found quite a few, and I am going to call each of them Monday morning and ask them a few questions. I will only go to the one that allows me to hold him. I don't want it to be a bad experience for him. I had a horrible experience as a child, and to this day I am still frightened by Dentists.

 

Is there any "home remedies" I can look into as well? I've been letting him sit in the sun for a little while to get some Vit D. If I have to buy Vit D supplements I will do that too. Should I start brushing his teeth with my tooth paste? I've been using a fluoride-free baby tooth paste. I'll try to get him to eat more Vit D rich foods, but he's been put off by most food right now because he's teething (molars!).

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#4 of 11 Old 05-19-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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I did start using a very small amount of children's mouthwash with floride on my son's toothbrush, and then rinsing his mouth with water.  I felt like it did help slow the decay, although I know many don't like floride or believe it to be harmful. I felt like it was worth a try as we don't have floride in our water (which I don't believe helps teeth anyway) and still used floride free toothpaste because I felt like he was more likely to swallow or ingest too much of that.

 

We also switched to an electric toothbrush, got diligent about flossing, and just took more time to brush after each time we ate during the day.  Our dentist told us that brushing more often, even with just water, would make a difference.

 

We did Vit D liquid drops for a few months, as well as a plant based multi vitamin. We liked Rainbow Lights vitamins.

 

I know there is toothpaste you can get with xylitol in it that is supposed to help remineralize teeth, if I am remembering correctly.

 

18 months is a hard age to push foods, at least it was for my picky kids...making bone broth and using that in soups or other foods is supposed to be a good way to get minerals in food. 

 

Let me know how your appointment goes!  Sounds like you are on top of things. 

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#5 of 11 Old 05-21-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you once again.

 

We have an appointment next Thursday. The receptionist said they don't normally allow the parents to hold their child, but I could ask the Dentist, which I am going to, and will insist on it. Like I mentioned before, I don't want this to be a bad experience for him. If anything, I'll find another Dentist. She also said they will most likely begin fluoride treatments, but we will have to wait and see. I am dreading this visit. He's a very shy toddler, and does not like other people touching him, let alone prying his mouth open to examine it. I just know it's going to be a sad day for him, and me. :( I will not let them do anything extensive. I have researched ECC, and if it is what he has, it is in the VERY early stage.

 

I have been brushing his teeth with a smear of my toothpaste once a day (he can't stand the taste of it, and spits it out after, yay!) and I have also been brushing his teeth with his baby toothpaste after every meal. He doesn't get any fluoride from water, because we don't drink tap water. I don't know if filtered water from the store has it, but that's what he drinks, along with whole milk, and of course, breast milk. I'm going to start wiping his teeth once he falls asleep too, after nursing. He's a frequent night nurser, so I don't know if that is what caused it, or maybe genetics, or maybe even the fact that he was born at 28.6 weeks. I know being born premature can have an affect on the enamel
 

Tomorrow we will buy a Vit D supplement. He's been put off of a lot of foods lately, including his favorite foods, so I doubt I will be able to introduce anything new right now that he will willingly take.

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#6 of 11 Old 05-29-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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Krystal, 

 

I would be firm about holding him. I researched pediatric dentists in this area and all of them do the knee to knee approach. The dentist and parent sit knee to knee and baby gets to lay his/her head on the dentists lap while sitting on mom. We decided not to use a pediatric dentist, but a family holistic DDS and even they encouraged me to have my son sit on my lap. My boy is very shy too and I do think it helped to have him near me. 

 

Good luck!

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#7 of 11 Old 05-31-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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Hi! I'm so glad that you caught this while it was in the early stages. I was not so fortunate! I didn't brush my DS's teeth much because I just didn't think about it, and people told me they didn't brush their kids teeth til they were 3.. I regret listening, but I guess now I know! Some proper prevention and brushing etc. should reverse your son's decay and then at least you will know that he is more prone to it and you'll be more diligent about brushing and stuff!

Its a lot harder to reverse the decay or stop it when it has started chipping off. That's when we had noticed it on my son.

I continued to breastfeed him to 22 months (noticed decay shortly after his first birthday and just saw a regular family dentist, who wasn't knowledgable on ECC, I know now..) and was told later by the ped. Dentist we saw when he was 21 months, that if I ate lots of sugar it would make my breastmilk more sugary. She said that its just like when you drink alcohol, it goes through your breastmilk, sugar is the same way.. I ate lots of sugar, and my son nursed throughout the night. He didn't eat sugar. Rarely he'd have a treat. So I never understood why his decay advanced so quickly. By 23 months, his teeth were so bad, they were very close to infection and possible damage of his adult teeth, that we had no choice but to put him under general anestesia to get his top 4 teeth pulled (not saveable whatsoever) and top two molars capped.

I just am so glad that you've already done your research OP and that your son will not have to go through what mine did with your diligence!

Just thought I would share that little sugar/breastmilk tidbit. Just incase! I would have been very thankful if someone would have shared that info with me.

Oh! And I wanted to say xylitol is a very good thing for your boys teeth! There's a website xlear.com that use natural xylitol from birch trees (the best kind) and there's little mints that you can give to your son if you are uptown and can't brush his teeth or something. The xylitol changes the PH balance in your mouth and helps kill bacteria in the mouth. If you can find a toothpaste with xylitol in it too, that's a good idea!

Hope all goes well with your dentist appt, and with your sons teeth!

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#8 of 11 Old 06-01-2012, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Mama4life14! I had no idea sugar was passed through breast milk like that. I am guilty of eating sugar frequently. Now that I know it too can harm his teeth, I am going to cut back a lot, if not completely on sugary sweets, etc. until he is done breastfeeding. I am also breastfeeding my 5 month old, and I don't want it to happen to him either!

 

I'm brushing my toddler's teeth frequently now, every morning right after he wakes up, after every meal, and right before he goes to sleep. I bought some "Spiffie" xylitol wipes for his teeth, but I am going to check out that website and buy some of those mints too, and anything else that will help his teeth!

 

Thanks again, so much!

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#9 of 11 Old 06-01-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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My understanding is that it's carbohydrates in general you need to worry about, not just the tasty ones. The decay is caused by bacteria in your mouth that eat the carbs.

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#10 of 11 Old 06-01-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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I have never read any research that that "sugar" (sucrose) a mother eats passes into breastmilk. I'm highly skeptical.
 

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#11 of 11 Old 06-01-2012, 08:24 AM
 
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Your welcome OP!

I was a little skeptical at first when the Ped. Dentist told me about sugar going into your breastmilk. How could breastmilk be bad, I thought. But sugar is a lot different nowadays then it used to be. And I don't think I could explain it the way the Dentist did, but it sure got me. And it made total sense to me. I would always have a sugary cereal before bedtime, one of my favorite bedtime snacks, then I would breastfeed throughout the night. The milk he was getting was the sugary milk. Its the same when I ate spicy food or gassy food, my son would have lots of gas. I'm not saying its the same for everyone. This is just my situation. I wanted to tell OP just in case. smile.gif

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