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my little guy sleeps with me. i love snuggling with him. sometimes he wakes in the night and i..of course..nurse him back to sleep. recently i was at a party and another woman with a baby the same age asked me if i nurse at night and i said YUP. well! she told me off.. she said that its VERY bad for their teeth to nurse them at night and blah blah blah. i just want to know if anyone else has heard this..is it true? am i harming my little guy by comforting him in the night? any feedback would be great
 

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I've been interested in this, so have done some reading. It's my understanding that breast milk itself does not cause decay and in fact can be protective, and breast milk does not pool in the mouth like milk from a bottle does. However, if your child has the bacteria that causes decay, and there is any other residue on the teeth, night nursing can hasten the decay.<br><br>
I've had two reactions to this. First of all, I don't share drinks with my ds, and don't allow anyone else to, either, with the goal of keeping that bacteria from colonizing in my son's mouth. Second of all, I make sure his teeth are brushed thoroughly before he nurses to sleep at night. I nurse on demand at night. He's 28 months, and we've had no problems so far (knock on wood).<br><br>
There is lots of information on the dental board here. Good luck on your research - I think this is kind of a complicated topic!
 

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It's a complete MYTH!<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/10-0-0/html/10-7-0/cavities.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/10-0-0/html...cavities.shtml</a>
 

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This is a myth! Breastmilk given in a BOTTLE at night will pool in the mouth (because bottle sucking is lazy work - but you already knew that). The act of properly nursing forces the child to swallow before taking the next sip (so to speak).<br><br>
My daughter nursed like 8 times during a 10 hour night and has not had one problem with overbire or tooth decay! Even though an artificial nipple is "soft" it will cause the teeth to be moved. They fall asleep and bite or grind their teeth and the rubber moves their teeth into funky positions. The breast is much more pliable and if your child exerts enough pressure to actually "move" teeth over time, you would yelp and take the breast away because he's biting you!<br><br>
She is 3 and a half and now has gotten down to 2 times a night. Many times I would brush her teeth and then nurse her. My dentist says it's the simple carbohydrates that cause tooth decay (such as ice cream before sleep).<br><br>
We have coslept since she came home and the hardest part I found was keeping track of which side I have her last. Only in the past few months has she started to only nurse for falling asleep and in the morning upon waking.
 

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Here's a thread that might help: <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3581" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...&threadid=3581</a><br>
Make note of post #7 from our very own Smilemomma who is a dentist and a MDC breastfeeding mama herself. There is a lot of other helpful information at the dental board.<br><br>
My son was a "dawdler" type nurser as described in that post, and he did develop cavities before he was a year old. He nursed all night long during his first year. We have gotten the cavities fixed and have had no recurrent problems though we have continued to night nurse, although he nurses much less now and since we found the problems I make sure to delatch him and make sure he swallows the last bit of milk before he goes to sleep (it was a slow process getting there, though).<br><br>
I have done a lot of research on this and there are a lot of studies showing night nursing does contribute to caries, and some that don't, and there was a big review done of all the medical studies combined that basically showed there is no definitive scientific proof that prolonged nursing at night increases the risk of caries.<br>
However, like MommyPam said, there is evidence that breastmilk can cause decay if there is carbohydrate on the teeth--the study used a sugar solution (would be similar to juice) and found with breastmilk, cavities formed faster than with the sugar solution alone. So, it seems night nursing could play a role in some cases; I think the thing is not to stop night nursing if that's what mama and dc want to do, but to find ways to prevent problems and lower the risk.
 
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