rotting my babys teeth...boob??????

Ally - posted on 11/10/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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my baby is 17months and still a big breastfeeder!!!! she eats during the night and when she is with me and im not working. I have tried to feed her everything but the kitchen sink and she still prefers the boob! lately i have notice her front teeth are getting cavitys... we brush her teeth everyday and night...so i feel like i should stop breastfeeding before my babies teeth are gone....then maybe she will eat like a kid and not like a bird! Please any tips or help....

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Nicole - posted on 11/10/2010

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I have to politely and respectfully disagree with the notion that breast milk causes dental caries because of night nursing. Yes, this is a problem among bottle-fed babies because the milk/liquid from the bottle literally pools in their mouths when they are not sucking. But at the breast, when the baby is not actively sucking, the milk does not just fall into the mouth. And babies who are actively sucking usually do so to actually transfer milk (swallow). Also, naturally speaking, babies are meant to be fed breast milk day and/or night and it wouldn't make sense for breast milk to cause tooth decay. As one doctor (Dr. Palmer) who has studied this extensively said, it would be "evolutionary suicide" if breast milk caused tooth decay.

Actually, breastfed babies and children are more likely to have better dental health than their formula-fed counterparts.

Ally, you could also make sure that she is not getting other family member's tooth brush and playing with it. This is sometimes a culprit for tooth decay among small children.

User - posted on 02/12/2011

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I breast fed both of my kids. My daughter wasn't weened until she was three and my son is two and I'll cut out nursing when he's tree too. That said, I am aware that the nightly breast feeding is what caused my kids to both get bottle rot. The dentist said that he could tell by the fact that it was only the upper teeth rotting,that it was caused by milk pooling in their mouths at night. He was great however and encouraged me to keep nursing. He said that the benefits of nursing far outweigh the problem of bottle rot. After all the baby teeth will be replaced soon. He said that he sees lots of breastfed teeth with bottle rot. Also I know that breast milk pools in their mouths. I often see it dripping out the side of their mouths after I remove my breast. Also,sometimes they fall asleep right when some more milk comes in,and trust me,they don't need to be sucking. It'll squirt right into the mouth. My dentist said to make sure that I rouse them just a bit (not enough to wake them) after removing the breast, so that they'll swallow. He also said to keep a bottle of water on hand,and to try to make the baby have a sip after he's finished nursing. My husband grew up a nomad in Tibet where people have only breast milk for their babies,and he said many babies have bottle rot there. Still, you want to give your baby, that nutrition, and bonding, and immune bost,so I still say breast is best!

Minnie - posted on 11/10/2010

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Like Laura noted, it is not logical to assume that breastfeeding causes dental caries. Not too long ago a simple dental cavity leading to systemic infection could be a death sentence.



Research has shown that teeth submerged in human milk do not decay. Sleeping nursing toddlers do not have milk pooling in their mouths like bottle feeders do. Breastmilk contains numerous properties that actually prevent cavities- iron-binding proteins that prevent bacteria from using the iron, lysozymes that destroy bacteria and mucins that bind bacteria.



However- people who are prone to dental caries typically have their mouths colonized by a particularly virile strain of a bacteria called streptococcos mutans. This bacteria coupled with OTHER FOODS in a child's diet are what lead to dental caries.

Christina - posted on 11/12/2010

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My older daughter wanted to nurse all through out the night and I let her in order for me to sleep and my working husband. And there were times she'd fall asleep without swallowing the last gulp. However, she never had any cavities at that age until a year after she stopped nursing. I blame sugar, all that gosh darn sugar that grandma was finally able to tarnish my baby with : / Oh btw, do you give your daughter those multi vitamins with iron? That could stain the teeth. Just what the ped told me as I never really did give them consistently.

Merry - posted on 11/11/2010

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Mary is saying 'facts' that I've found in the what to expect the toddler years book. Unfortunately that book clearly says that breastfeeding causes cavities and other problems if you continue past a year. Also I think baby wise says the same.
So please, don't believe everything you read, and don't trust anything 'what to expect' says. It's got bold faced lies all over so just burn it please.

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[deleted account]

I wud suggest a few sips of water from a bottle after feeding as well. Also do u give Ur baby juice?

Emily - posted on 11/12/2010

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Are you sure what you're seeing is cavities? I would think only a dentist would be able to diagnose that properly.

I had concerns for a long time about my son's teeth because I've heard all the "oh my god you'll rot his teeth" stories too. I did notice his front teeth had some discoloration on them, so I was really quite scared when we took him for the dentist for the first time. Especially because he nursed until age 3 1/2. The dentist said his teeth were perfect.

Katie - posted on 11/12/2010

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Really the only way that breastmilk would cause cavities is if you're constantly nursing them to sleep and the breastmilk is pooling and sitting by the teeth for extended periods of time. Just keep brushing them, and take her to a ped dentist. I agree that it just might be genetics. My hubby's got bad teeth, where mine are pretty good. I'm curious what kind of teeth our daughter will have.

Katie - posted on 11/12/2010

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I apologize, I guess I meant to use the word unconventional. It can, however, give you the craps :)

Katie - posted on 11/12/2010

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I just wanted to say that (not criticizing Eyelyn's post, but) artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol, can cause horrible gastrointestinal issues- definitely not good for little kids.
I echo the suggestion of seeing a doctor or dentist about the dental problems... discolourations can be cause by all kinds of different things like fluoride, antibiotics, etc. It's best to figure out for sure what's going on with your little one.

Lanna - posted on 11/12/2010

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breastfeeding dosent cuse teeth to rot.. Make sure she swallows the last sip. I am a nursing mom to and my son is 13 months old... But he also eats everything!!! good luck....

Carolyn - posted on 11/11/2010

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maybe we are the exception but i know for fact milk pools in my sons mouth sometimes after nursing. he doesnt always swallow that entire last gulp and you can move him a few minutes later and the milk drizzles out the side. and no its not spit up. so it is entirely possible for a baby to have milk remain in the mouth after nursing .

i have no comment on the cavities tho.

[deleted account]

May I suggest another solution? I use Xylitol which is a type of natural sweetener derived from berries that has properties that actualy combat tooth decay and what's more is quite good for just about everyone of any age. Even pregnant and breastfeeding mums are able to use it.

Xylitol can be used to sweeten meals and drinks, you can purchase Xylitol based gum or tooth paste at iHerb.com.

[deleted account]

Just re-iterating what Nicole said - only with bottles does the milk pool in the mouth. With breastfeeding, the child has to be actively sucking to get any milk out. (Which of course helps with their jaw development!)

Mary Renee - posted on 11/11/2010

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I'll add to my previous comment that it's not common for breastmilk to cause cavities but I wasn't making what I said up, it happens with children that are already prone to cavities, regardless of how they're getting the milk.

I'm exclusively breastfeeding and nurse at night and am a breastfeeding advocate. I'm just trying to help you out - if you're positive it isn't OTHER foods.

Mary Renee - posted on 11/10/2010

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I've heard of this happening and it's because she's nursing at night and falling asleep with milk in her mouth. When they nurse at night and fall asleep nursing the milk stays and pools in their mouth around their teeth and the sugars can rot them. During the day or when they're awake their saliva rinses their teeth off keeping them from rotting.



If you can, continue to breastfeed her during the day. Maybe try to breastfeed more frequently during the day while you're at home and try to rock her or comfort her some other way at night to prevent her from falling asleep with milk in her mouth.

[deleted account]

I agree with the other moms. I would take her to a ped. dentist and find out what is causing the problem. A good friend of mine has 2 girls with discolored teeth and both she and her hubby have lots of dental problems in their families.

Merry - posted on 11/10/2010

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Bf really doesn't rot teeth, that would be evolutionary suicide!
Humans are designed to breastfeed until their permanent teeth come in so the milk teeth are made to be drinking your milk. What's not normal, sugars, etc will rot the teeth.
I'd say look at the other things she eats or drinks. And you will find the problem item there.

Nicole - posted on 11/10/2010

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I am 99% sure that this problem is not caused by breastfeeding. It is quite rare for breastfed babies to have cavities due to the breastfeeding itself. Have you taken her to the dentist to see if something else is causing the caries? A lot of dental problems can be caused by genetics, too. Here are some links that may help:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/to...
http://www.breastfeed.com/articles/breas...
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/lisa_r...

Find out what other factors can be contributing to this problem and that may help.

Good luck and best wishes to your little nursling.

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