Night nursing=cavities=NOT true!!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have seen so many posts including the ones about my ds who have gotten caries early on. I have seen so many mom's including myself blame there selves after hearing from some one or a Dentist that night nursing caused this problem. I have to get this message out there that this just isnt the case. Bfing helps prevent cavities not cause them. Please read this link http://www.hpakids.org/holistic-heal...Cause-Cavities

Like my ds most early caries have to do with gentics and weak tooth enamal. The benifits of bfing on demand are to many to discount. Proper dental hygen is the key not taking away this important part of your childs nutrition. I just wish dentists would get it thru their heads that FF and bfing are so different they cant be compaired.

I was told by 2 dentist that my sons problems were caused by baby bottle tooth decay even tho he has never had a bottle. That is when I did my own research and found just how far behind dentist are on this issue.

I hope this posts helps some people out.

 
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#2 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MCatLvrMoMof2 View Post
That link didn't work for me.


Even the "good" dentists that we've been working with continue to ask me about bfing. Yesterday one of them said that while he didn't want to interfere with our bfing relationship, I might start thinking about weaning and encouraging things to go in that direction. Nice as pie, but Argh!! I wonder how many scared, guilt ridden moms make the decision to wean based on the advice of dentists?!?!?! I think that when we feel scared and overwhelmed we tend to hang onto "do this" type of advice because it's more manageable than doing a lot of research, and you can say: "Well, I did what the expert said to do." So, I think that for as long as dentists are blaming bfing, a lot of moms are going to blame it as well, and make sad decisions as a result.

Sara ~ one dh + one 5yo boy + baby in 2011
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#3 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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I don't understand how so many people get stuck in these conversations with their dentists.

I guess, for us, there are just certain topics that aren't up for discussion, and nursing is one of them.
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#4 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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I don't understand how so many people get stuck in these conversations with their dentists.

I guess, for us, there are just certain topics that aren't up for discussion, and nursing is one of them.
It's pretty easy. The dentist looks at the child's teeth, sits down and says: "Have you been putting the child to bed with a bottle?" No "Have you been nursing the child at night" Yes. "Well as long as you're nursing through the night your child's caries are going to grow and could spread to the other teeth. If you don't stop nursing at night then I can't do anything/the child will lose his teeth/they're just going to get worse."

Or, it happens because a scared and worried mom asks: "what can I do?" Which is a totally appropriate question to ask a dentist. Unfortunately, I don't think many dentists give appropriate suggestions.

If the dentists you've been seeing haven't mentioned nursing then they're obviously better informed then the ones that I've been seeing.

Sara ~ one dh + one 5yo boy + baby in 2011
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#5 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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It's pretty easy. The dentist looks at the child's teeth, sits down and says: "Have you been putting the child to bed with a bottle?" No "Have you been nursing the child at night" Yes. "Well as long as you're nursing through the night your child's caries are going to grow and could spread to the other teeth. If you don't stop nursing at night then I can't do anything/the child will lose his teeth/they're just going to get worse."

Or, it happens because a scared and worried mom asks: "what can I do?" Which is a totally appropriate question to ask a dentist. Unfortunately, I don't think many dentists give appropriate suggestions.

If the dentists you've been seeing haven't mentioned nursing then they're obviously better informed then the ones that I've been seeing.
I have dealt with too many dentists, most don't even touch the issue, but a few have. I guess I just know better than to get into it with them. It's very easy to lie and tell them what they want to hear. I know it doesn't help the next nursing mom, but it keeps us on track with what we are there for, and breastfeeding has nothing to do with the equation.
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#6 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I fixed the link in the OP. sorry about that. I should know by now to always click on the link to make sure it works. If you want a printable version then go with this link provided on the right hand side.

 
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#7 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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I fixed the link in the OP. sorry about that. I should know by now to always click on the link to make sure it works. If you want a printable version then go with this link provided on the right hand side.
Excellent article! I have to laugh though....the Dr. Hale from Brighton, MI is literally 10 minutes away from me. I avoided his office, though, because it is well known in our mothering community here that he refuses to allow parents with the child during treatment. :
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#8 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I avoided his office, though, because it is well known in our mothering community here that he refuses to allow parents with the child during treatment. :
That is a total deal breaker for me I wouldnt allow my dc to go in to a Dr. office alone so why would I do so at the Dentist. I was told by one dentist office when I called to check the policy that the reason for this was that most kids do better when a parent isnt in the room. I told her I could care less if my dc would do better without me there I would never leave them alone with a stranger. That is just asking for trouble IMHO.

I took my dd to the local dentist at the health dept. for the one visit (first visit parents can go back) because of that policy. I just wanted to see what all would need to be done. I had no intention of taking her back after that because of that stupid policy.

The hygenist threatened my dd that if she didnt stop crying I would have to go back to the waiting room and not be allowed in with her. Needless to say that didnt work at all and I wasnt about to leave and told dd so. I can only imagine what they would have said/done to her had I not been in there. :

 
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#9 of 23 Old 02-08-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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That is a total deal breaker for me I wouldnt allow my dc to go in to a Dr. office alone so why would I do so at the Dentist. I was told by one dentist office when I called to check the policy that the reason for this was that most kids do better when a parent isnt in the room. I told her I could care less if my dc would do better without me there I would never leave them alone with a stranger. That is just asking for trouble IMHO.

I took my dd to the local dentist at the health dept. for the one visit (first visit parents can go back) because of that policy. I just wanted to see what all would need to be done. I had no intention of taking her back after that because of that stupid policy.

The hygenist threatened my dd that if she didnt stop crying I would have to go back to the waiting room and not be allowed in with her. Needless to say that didnt work at all and I wasnt about to leave and told dd so. I can only imagine what they would have said/done to her had I not been in there. :
Exactly. I am highly suspicious of dentists that don't want parents back with the child while the work is being done. What are they trying to hide? If they were competent, capable, respectful dentists there would be absolutely NO reason to make such a demand!
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#10 of 23 Old 02-09-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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If they were competent, capable, respectful dentists there would be absolutely NO reason to make such a demand!
Cassandra, that is a really inflammatory, generalized statement you made there.

In my office, the *child* gets to make the decision. Some do want their parents back with them, and that's fine.

Others DO NOT, and that's okay, too. Some children like to feel like "big girls/boys", or they want to do this "by myself".

Other children do much better without their parents in the room. I have had mothers say to their children, "Don't worry, I'm right here, I'll protect you!" Protect her from WHAT? What a way to start a relationship. And that's exactly what it is, a relationship between ME and the CHILD (the patient, after all). Some parents continually intrude on that and it's impossible to relate to the child at all without the parent answering every question for them.

Some children also really "play up" to a parent present. "Oh, look what I'm going through! :dq: I really need a trip to Toys R Us for all this!" and yet they're very matter-of-fact when their audience isn't there.

If you don't trust your dentist, then that's YOUR issue. Why would you bring your child to a healthcare provider of any kind whom you don't trust? You should have a good relationship with this person, too.
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#11 of 23 Old 02-09-2007, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see where you are coming from Smilemomma but it is MY responsibility to protect my child and if I am not in the room I cannot do that. I have seen to many times children who were abused by someone who was in a position of trust. It is every parents responsibility to protect there child from that. After 1-2 visits to a dentist you cannot know if they are trust worthy enough to be alone with your child.

I believe that a competent dentist would be fine with a parent being present and not have a policy saying NO. Like I said in my pp even if my kid would do better without me there it doesn't matter I have to be responsible to protect them. And I cannot do that if I am in a waiting room on the other side of the building.

I would be willing to stand outside in the hallway but for me to leave is wrong. There is nothing wrong with a parent telling a child they will protect them that is what we are supposed to do after all.

I am sure there are dentists that would never dream of hurting a child but how do you know after just 1 visit if the dentist you are seeing is one of them?? It isn't possible. I am not physic, I dont know for a fact my dc would be safe and I would much rather be overprotective than be one of those parents you see who's child was harmed.

We are not talking about the child making the decision we are talking about a office policy with no exceptions on parents in the room with the child. Even if my dc wanted to be left alone to be a "big" kid I wouldn't leave at least not totally I would have to be were I could hear and see what was going on.

Just like taking them to the Dr. I will not allow them out of my sight something might not happen but what if it would have?? It would have been my fault for not being there.

As you can see this is something I feel very strongly about. And I will not give my business to any Dentist who has the policy of NO parents no exceptions.

 
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#12 of 23 Old 02-09-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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You both are talking about situations that are different somewhat. Some offices do have the policy that NO parents go back, there isn't an option for the kids or the parents.

My daughter's dentist formed a good relationship with me and my daughter, which makes sense to me. Altho my daughter is the patient, she is a minor and I am the responsible party for her. The dentist explained to me quickly about why some dentists prefer parents to stay in the waiting room, and so thru her advice I still go back with my daughter, but I am also more aware of my actions while back there.

To me, that is a better working relationship, not just to eliminate the parent, but to work with the parent because the kids are well... kids. I am careful not to make any faces or expressions while the work is being done(so that my daughter doesn't get upset by my reactions), I read a magazine and respond when asked and my daughter does excellent. It really relieves my daughter's anxiety about being there because goodness, I am there for her for everything I can be.

The dentist talks to my daughter thorughout her visit and I feel they have a great relationship.

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#13 of 23 Old 02-09-2007, 06:01 PM
 
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Cassandra, that is a really inflammatory, generalized statement you made there.
No, I respectfully disagree, Smilemomma. If a dentist insists that it is standard protocol for children (as young as barely a year old) go back for procedures alone, I find that highly suspect and I would NOT allow that dentist to care for my child. Period.


Dentists can always give the parents a chance and set up ground rules...it's not good practice to insist all parents can't be there with their children, it isn't the 1950's anymore.

I haven't personally had this problem since I ask right away if the dentist allows parents to be with thier children at all times, and cross them off the list if they don't. I've unfortunately been there while a dentist refused to listen to my daughters stop sign, and I will be there to advocate for as long as my children need me. I do agree that as parents we need to remain calm, collected and positive, as our children are often looking at us for response cues.

I am surprised you seem so offended, this to me seems like a very basic right.
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#14 of 23 Old 02-16-2007, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#15 of 23 Old 04-11-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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Sorry, but night nursing CAN contribute to cavities. If the child is eating solid food as well. The breastmilk combines with other sugars in the mouth and feeds the bacteria that cause decay.

You don't have to feel bad about night nursing. It's not your fault your baby has decay. Both of mine have had decay before the age of 2. I am guessing that if I'd stopped nursing at night around 9 months or so, that their decay would be less than it is now. But I can't say for sure.

However, that doesn't stop me from night nursing. I am just going to be more diligent about teeth cleaning. Our dentist didn't suggest that I stop nursing at night, but I agreed with him that it could very well be a factor. But that's life. Nothing is risk free.

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#16 of 23 Old 04-11-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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My son has many caries and needs crowns. At first she said it was genetic, then when she learned we still nurse, she blamed that. He is going in for hsi work finally. They want him to go back alone. I don't THINK so.

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#17 of 23 Old 04-11-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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No, it doesn't. The breastmilk is deposited at the back of the mouth near the throat and is usually swallowed immediately. It barely touches the teeth at all. Look at the anatomy of breastfeeding, and it's obvious. Mothers throughout time have had to nurse their babies at night. Babies were meant to be breastfed--at night, too. Why would nature work against itself? As you can see by the article caries in early childhood are caused by ECC, kids that have a high concentration of a certain bacteria. Nothing to do with breastmilk whatsoever. And BFing makes them less susceptible to this. Maybe a mother who has a high sugar diet, that could contribute, but there are countries were babies nurse ALL night...and ECC is less common there.

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#18 of 23 Old 04-11-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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Our DD night nursed until she self-weaned around 4yo. She is 6.5yo and still has never had a cavitity/dental caries. I recall one of her 1st dental appts (a female dentist who was supposed to be crunchy) when DD was almost 2yo. I just wanted good, natural information, but got an earful from the dentist who said that every baby who night nurses will most certainly have cavities by the time they turn 2. :

As I was leaving their office, I noticed a little bowl of chocolates sitting at the reception counter for patients.
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#19 of 23 Old 04-11-2007, 11:12 PM
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Moonfirefaery, it very well may be genetics, I think your dentist would just rather blame bfing. As you and others have said, if night nursing caused tooth decay, whether in combination with other foods or not, babies throughout history would have had rotten teeth. Obviously false. Congenital enamel weakness, whether genetic or because of a combination of genetics and nutritional or other environmental risk factors, can be a huge factor in early decay. Both of my children have had this problem, as I did myself on my baby teeth. We've all had very good diets, with no in-utero risk factors for tooth damage. There are spots on the teeth that you can see immediately after erupting where the enamel is chalky and wears away quickly, with no actual decay (as in, bacterial acid caused) until well after the enamel is gone. My dentist examed my first son's teeth when I noticed this, and said it's obvious the enamel is just missing there, not properly mineralized in the first place, there was no decay yet, just missing enamel. Decay settled in those areas later. My second son's teeth have the same problem (he's only 16 mos. now). We go to a pediatric dentist now for the kids (who does allow parents in the exam area), since my dentist doesn't work on them that young, but I don't discuss the nursing issue with them. I'm not there for parenting advice, and I know bfing has not caused my kids' problems. In fact, when asked, I told them my 2nd no longer nurses at night, because I could tell where the conversation was going ("nursing is great, but..." yeah, whatever, I know the truth).

Hygiene is still important in a case like this to reduce the progress of decay, but it's not preventable through hygiene, it won't make the enamel grow back (this is beyond what remineralization can fix, like that talked about in the Healing Cavities With Nutrition thread here). It's very frustrating, because I know a lot about nutrition, nutrient-density, risk factors, etc., I practice what I know, and it has not been enough for my children to avoid this. Talk about mommy guilt.

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#20 of 23 Old 04-12-2007, 12:07 AM
 
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I think it's genetics cuz I've always been prone to cavities too. I think it's what that article was about pretty much that's affecting him, plus maybe his enamel didn't form strongly when he was in the womb. I don't believe BFing, day or night, contributes anymore than eating or dirnking anything else. We could say food in general contributes to caries, but we HAVE to eat just like babies HAVE to nurse...even at night.

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#21 of 23 Old 04-12-2007, 01:33 AM
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I think fingering s. mutans as the culprit in ECC is simplistic. IMO, when there's a high level of the bacteria it's likely because the weak/demineralized enamel gives them a cozy home where it's difficult to manually remove them by cleaning, and they can just reproduce like crazy, which then starts a downward spiral of decay. The bacteria don't cause the problem, it's more of an opportunistic infection because the environment is right for them. The enamel weakness stems from a potentially complex interplay of many other factors, many of which were named in that article, but largely I think the root is nutritional. I think many cases of kids with at-risk enamel developing ECC are because of a multi-generational decline in the nutrient levels in our modern diet, which carries through and worsens with each succeeding generation. I also think sometimes it can be reversed in one generation and sometimes it can't, depending on severity and how many specific factors are involved. But I know my worldview about pathogens and their relationship to humanity is largely the opposite of conventional medical theory.

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#22 of 23 Old 04-05-2008, 06:10 AM
 
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My 17 month old son is facing GA surgery and 4 crowns for ECC.

We have good to great family dental health history. I had 2 cavities filled as a teen, and no problems since. Baby-daddy has no cavities or fillings at all.

My son eats a very reduced processed sugar diet - he drinks maybe an ounce of juice watered down 1:4 with water per day (morning and lunch, never dinner).

We brush, religiously, 2 times a day.

we have co-slept and night nursed on demand his whole life.

At 4 months, his pediatrician recommended completely stopping night nursing. I listened, but thought "she also recommends sleep training and no co-sleeping" I did hours of research here, and other places on the internet. I chalked her advice up to "doctors don't always know what's best, I'm going to trust my instincts and Dr. Brian Palmer's research, and continue what I feel is right"

You can find medical opinions and research on just about anything. Here's the latest study that's hurting my guilty conscience:

http://jdr.iadrjournals.org/cgi/content/full/85/1/85
"A retrospective cohort study on ECC and associated factors was conducted among mothers with 25- to 30-month-old infants in a community where prolonged breastfeeding was common practice. All infants who consumed sugary supplementary food or rice that was pre-chewed by the mother, or who fell asleep with the breast nipple in their mouths, had ECC. Infants without those habits, and who were breastfed up to 12 months, had no ECC. Breastfeeding during the day beyond the age of 12 months was not associated with ECC, but infants who were breastfed at night > 2 times had an OR for ECC of 35 (CI 6-186), and those who were exposed to > 15 min per nocturnal feeding had an OR for ECC of 100 (CI 10-995). The present study indicates that, in this population, besides the consumption of sugars and pre-chewed rice, nocturnal breastfeeding after the age of 12 months poses a risk of developing ECC."

I guess all I'm saying, is be very confident in your parenting decisions, and somehow try to brace for the possibility that even your instincts could be wrong.
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#23 of 23 Old 04-05-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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North American families who practice extended night-time breastfeeding are in the extreme minority, and to my knowledge there is no research on ECC that applies directly to us. Correct me if I'm wrong! The research has been done in more traditional societies, however.

In the Myanmar study cited by esokitty, the total time spent breastfeeding in a 24-hr cycle was significantly related to the incidence of ECC. Nighttime breastfeeding, specifically, was also found to be a risk factor for ECC:

Falling asleep with the nipple in the mouth was a significant risk factor for ECC: Among 12+ mo toddlers, nighttime breastfeeding was a significant risk factor for ECC:
ATanzanian study found that allowing 1-4 year olds to sleep with the nipple in their mouths is strongly associated with ECC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
The breastmilk is deposited at the back of the mouth near the throat and is usually swallowed immediately. It barely touches the teeth at all.
Do you have any evidence for your statements above? I believe that for many children your statements are factually incorrect. I have observed breastmilk around dd's teeth at night, and I have occasionally even seen breastmilk dribble out of her mouth. I'm sure that many mothers have observed the same. A dental assistant that I was talking with expressed her view that the impact of nighttime breastfeeding in terms of ECC risk can vary a lot among children, depending on their behaviours: some children shift around more in their sleep, they lie in different positions, some might swallow more, etc. - all of these things will affect caries risk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
Mothers throughout time have had to nurse their babies at night. Babies were meant to be breastfed--at night, too. Why would nature work against itself?
Clearly, breastfeeding in traditional societies was not a significant risk factor for ECC. However, in modern societies, it seems that breastfeeding (particularly at night) is a risk factor for ECC in combination with other factors (and some of those other factors may be very important!!).
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
As you can see by the article caries in early childhood are caused by ECC, kids that have a high concentration of a certain bacteria. Nothing to do with breastmilk whatsoever.
Most studies on ECC have shown that ECC is not caused by one factor - it is a multifactorial disease. Infection by Streptococcus mutans alone is not enough to explain the distribution of ECC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
Maybe a mother who has a high sugar diet, that could contribute, but there are countries were babies nurse ALL night...and ECC is less common there.
The studies that I have referenced above contradict your statement.

I think that there is pretty strong evidence that nighttime breastfeeding is a risk factor for ECC, especially if the child is 12+ mo and nursings are long and frequent. I also strongly believe that decisions about breastfeeding should take into account the health of the whole child - including emotional and physical considerations. I would not advocate weaning on the basis of the studies that I've presented above, because weaning could have unintended consequences (like an overall decrease in the quality of the child's nutrition - potentially making decay worse), but please let's look at the evidence and make informed decisions.

My 22 mo dd has severe ECC and nurses on demand day and night. My 4.5 yo ds is still nursing and he nursed on demand day and night when he was dd's age and he has perfect teeth. ECC is very baffling. In our case genetics, diet, oral hygiene, and breastfeeding patterns do not explain why one of our children has ECC and the other does not. My theory is that my nutrition was poor and my body was depleted during my second pregnancy, but that is pure speculation on my part. For whatever reason, dd got ECC and now I have to seriously look at any factors that could accelerate the progression of the decay. We are doing a lot to try to put the brakes on the ECC, and I am very reluctantly considering nightweaning dd.

to all of the mamas who are just trying to do the best for their children.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
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