Rice milk & teeth problems - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-15-2004, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
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What a great resource this is! I'm both oddly comforted and horrified by all of the problems you folks have had with your dear darlings' teeth! My son, 16 months old, has brown goop on his teeth (front two, gumline, back incisor), and it was just confirmed that it is decay. We saw the dentist yesterday, and are scheduled to see a pediatric orthodontist (??) next week to see if it needs immediate attention or can wait (til when??).

I'm mainly writing now to see if anyone has had any experience with rice milk as the culprit in making caramel-colored teeth.

Here's the backstory: Noah had lots of difficulties as a baby that were finally diagnosed correctly as allergies at 5 months old. He only had formula once, at day 5, because we were told he wasn't getting enough of my milk. He stopped breathing that night (in retrospect it was an allergic reaction to the formula), but I revived him (which was a good thing since it took the paramedics 41 minutes to arrive), and I never gave him formula again. He had only breastmilk to drink until he was 12 months (started solids around 6 months), and we introduced rice milk at 12 months. Oh, forgot to tell you his allergies: all dairy, eggs, peanuts, and soy. So for the past 11 months I've not eaten any of that, since we're still nursing.
Now, we have the family bed, and he does nurse through the night. ALL through the night! We do brush and wipe his teeth with a cloth day and night (but not after he's fallen asleep while nursing).
I just returned from a LLL meeting where the leader advised that I stop the rice milk altogether and just nurse and give him water. I'm sceptical about that, because he's such a voracious drinker, that I don't think I can keep up without returning to the wretched pump that I thought I was done with!

I guess my ultimate question is this: has anyone had a similar situation and determined that the rice milk was the culprit? If not, then I don't think I want the trauma of taking the rice milk away, when he enjoys it, and it's given me some much needed freedom from his unending appetite for drink!

The second question (and I'm sure this is in the archives, but I haven't looked through them all), how do you stop a voracious drinker from nursing at night? Would that really help our situation?

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#2 of 6 Old 06-16-2004, 03:51 AM
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I don't think the rice milk alone can be blamed, tho drinking water is never a bad idea of course. Canyou teach him to drink through a straw? that kinda circumvents the teeth.

About bf at nite: many mamas here have been successful with the tto squirt: you mix 5 or 6 drops of tea tree oil into a small bottle of water, and then squirt his teeth with this mixture after night nursings. It's antibacterial.
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#3 of 6 Old 06-16-2004, 06:31 PM
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Any sweetened drinks (and any milk is sweet! whether with natural or added sugars, and most rice milks I have seen have cane sugar added) can contribute to decay. I tend to agree with your LLL leader, but only you can decide how much you are willing to nurse. One idea would be to make sure to serve the rice milk with other foods, as part of a meal. Letting a child carry a cup of milk or juice around and sip on it at will is prolonging contact with sugar that the bacteria can feed on. It isn't the amount, it's the frequency, as every time they drink the teeth are bathed in sugar.

As far as the night nursing, I wish I could be more help. But my son nursed a ton at night at that age, and I think that might be pretty typical. Some moms have found the book The No Cry Sleep Solution to have some good ideas.
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#4 of 6 Old 06-17-2004, 04:01 AM
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Good advice from Simonee and Slightly Crunchy.
Beyond rice milk and night nursing....I would say the biggest issue is the dental hygeine routine. I recommend brushing with a brush and toothpaste, not just wiping with a cloth. And because decay is present, I would either be using flouride in small amounts or xylitol toothpaste.

Rice Milk does have a lot of sugar. Have you looked into any of the other milks for sugar comparison? I too, would have him drink water from a sippy all day and only milk with meals. The thread in the archive sticky at the top entitled "Remineralization and diet for healthy teeth" is a good one.

As for the night nursing, you might want to go over to the bfing forum for ideas. I night weaned dd between 20 and 24 months. It's a question of if you and he are truly ready. But plenty of mamas night nurse with no dental problems. So again, it is very likely that stepping up the brushing routine could prevent more decay. Night weaning is not necessarily the solution to dental problems....
I also would NOT wait! Decay progresses SO FAST!
Another great thread is Caries~Causes and Prevention.
Good luck to you! Keep us posted!
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#5 of 6 Old 06-18-2004, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, you guys are great! I am just reeling that I didn't figure this out sooner. We're now brushing (or more descriptive--attacking his teeth) morning noon and night. But we just can't give up the night nursing--it's too traumatic right now for him and me.

I'm going on over to the bf section--I need support!

Mommy to Noah 2-3-03
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#6 of 6 Old 06-18-2004, 05:33 PM
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you do not need to wean from night nursing becuase of ECC

in fact you may want this way of comforting your ds more then ever while you get his tooth decay resolved (((HUG)))
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