breastfeeding toddlers-stained teeth ?

Petra - posted on 11/19/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




Hi, I have been exclusively BF my twin boys for 18 months now. Recently I have been noticing kind of grey "film" on their teeth like when you have from coffeine or drinking red wine....I am still BF them to sleep and one of them at night (well working on night weaning). I read a lot controversial things regarding breast milk and my step mom is a dentist and keep telling me stories how her patients babies who BF at night have horrible teeth....I brush their teeth twice a day, I don't give them any sweet drinks, they never drank from bottle, they eat really good, very low sugar....does anybody has experience with these "stains"....could it be something else? My husband says that it can be from low iron (they have to take iron supplements)....I really want to keep BF them and keep their teeth healthy at the same time.
Thank you for the inputs :-))


Sarah - posted on 08/04/2015




I don't have problems with stains, but I breast feed my child and I only give her water to drink, she eats very healthy. I brush her teeth 2 to 3 times a day, but they seem to be getting worse. We went to the dentist and he told me the night nursing was the problem. I didn't think breast milk could cause decay. I am a great mom, but I feel totally defeated. This is my first child and besides my husband who works all the time, I am pretty much on my own since my mom past a few years back. I could really use some good advice.


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Petra - posted on 12/05/2011




I don't think my dentist stepmom has any "research", she just keeps talking these stories how toddlers come to her office with tons of cavities and moms don't give them any sweets or juices but then they figure out that she still BF at night.....

[deleted account]

Breast milk will not cause tooth decay. Bottle rot is called *bottle* rot for a reason. Breast milk actually has properties in it to prevent tooth decay. You do want to make sure that their teeth are brushed really well because breast milk + food can cause an issue.

My 2.5 year old is still breastfeeding. We stopped nursing at night at 18 months. Around 26 months I noticed a little bit of staining. We're taking her to my dentist back home this month (because she's my aunt and I know she'll be good with my daughter). I don't think it's a huge issue. I've had problems with staining myself. For me, I started brushing my teeth after lunch as well and this has completely solved my problem. So my toddler has been brushing an extra time and it has helped a little. You could see a pediatric dentist and ask them about the iron. Here's some issue on BF and teeth:

Ania - posted on 12/03/2011




If there is too much fluoride in either water or you are brudhing their teeth with toothpaste with fluoride their teeth gets stained. And the dentist lady sorry to say that has no idea what she is talking about. Does she have any RESEARCH on this or she is making this up?

Rachael - posted on 11/23/2011




baby bottle tooth decay is sadly not limited to bottle fed babies, but can also result from breast milk or anything other than water sitting in the mouth against the teeth. The stains you are describing, however, can also be related to the iron supplement. Do not stop the iron, as it is important, but you may try sticking the dropper further into your little ones mouth and wiping their teeth with a wet cloth afterwards. You may try wiping off their teeth after your night time breastfeeding sessions as well.

Stevie - posted on 11/22/2011




I breastfed my son until he was nearly 2 and this included nights which was the hardest to break and he has perfect teeth. He has never had a cavity and we didn't have any affects from the night nursing. My daughter who is 23 months old has teeth issues but this is due to health issues resulting in malabsorption/micronutrient deficiencies that occurred when the teeth were forming. HTH....oh...we have healthy brushing habits of at least 2x per day.

Lori - posted on 11/19/2011




I would think it would have more to do with a supplement they are taking (like iron), than with breastfeeding. Unless there's a medical condition, it's the bottle fed babies who get "bottle mouth". It could be several things. Too much fluoride is one commonly overlooked. A baby should not be drinking fluoridated water, and should not be brushing teeth with a fluoride toothpaste until he's old enough to spit rather than swallow the toothpaste.

I breastfed my oldest until she was 23 months old, and I'd brush her teeth, then nurse her to sleep. And if she woke during the night I'd nurse her back to sleep. Never had any problem with her teeth.

Do they take any other supplements other than iron?

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