I have been trying to transition from SAD to LFRV since Nov 2011. At this point I'd say I'm only 60-70% lfrv (having a hard time keeping up on both eating enough and making sure I have enough ripe fruit in the house)....my one year old (13 months to be exact) is breastfed on demand and eats 90-95% lfrv. I noticed his teeth started getting discolored and then a few weeks after that started I noticed the bottom of his two top teeth were now jagged...like the discolored portion has disappeared.
I took him to the dentist today to see what she said and her response was that he has pretty bad tooth decay and needs the cavities filled. She blamed it on the night time breastfeeding (he's latched pry 80% of the night) and said that I need to feed him, wipe his teeth, then make him sleep w/o any more feedings or else I have to brush after each feeding throughout the night.
She also said that I can't do anything to help repair the other teeth which has the white chalky spots (what she says are the start of cavities).
Any experience with this or advice or direction would be so helpful. As of now they are saying he needs three fillings.
Unfortunately it does happen and is usually incorrectly blamed on nighttime breastfeeding. There is some evidence that a certain bacteria is to blame and some children just have a thinner weaker layer of enamel. I have 4 kids, all breastfed, my youngest still breastfeeds at 5. Two of my children have had tooth troubles (one has had three teeth removed), yet the other two have the strongest whitest teeth imaginable.
Definately clean teeth after eating but don't worry about trying to clean teeth after breastfeeding, its too disruptive to try to do this at night anyway, but your nipple will be at the back of your sons mouth and the milk will not sit on the teeth (unlike formula / bottle feeds where the teat / nipple is right behind the baby's gums) and most importantly your milk has antibacterial qualities and will protect his teeth (who knows how bad they may have been if you hadn't breastfed!).
There is also some research that childrens tooth decay is linked to what was happening in the mothers pregnancy, in particular stress etc.
I know it is distressing but these teeth are milk teeth and his adult teeth will not be affected in the same way. Try not to worry and certainly keep breastfeeding whenever your baby wants / needs to nurse.
If you have any concerns you can contact your local La Leche League Leader or the LLL helpline (I am a LLL Leader) as there is plenty of evidence to show breastfeeding is not the cause of tooth decay - despite what many dentists say. In fact my own dentist said that he insisted he and his wife formula feed their son to ensure good dental health but was horrified to find that he needed 8 fillings at age 3!!!!!
Ok, that makes since. So with your convictions, would you be trying to remineralize the teeth and wait to have the fillings done or would you do the fillings as they were needed? I have not done much research and now am being forced to because I don't want to traumatize my son with filling the cavities unless its truely the best decision for him.
Thanks for clarifying breastmilks antibacterial properties too. I brought that up to the dentist and she said no, it has too much sugar in it and will just "float" around his mouth at night if he is latched/semi-latched.
Thanks Ali for the input!
I think it depends on whether or not he is in pain, in very small children they often need a general anaesthetic for fillings / removals. It may not be necessary at all, but if his teeth hurt him it may be best to do it, toothache is awful.
The milk doesn't "float" around his mouth, it is delivered to him at the back of his mouth in his throat and is swallowed, but even if it was in contact with his teeth it wouldn't harm them nature doesn't get these things wrong.
It is worth exploring your diet but breastmilk is made by your body to the exact specification that your baby needs and changes in composition all the time, even during feeds. Mums who are starving (times of famine / anorexia etc) produce perfect milk for their babies.
Do you co-sleep?
Just be reassured that by breastfeeding you are doing the absolute best for your lovely baby X
So sorry you are dealing with this! I have a friend going through the same thing right now. I am wondering if eating too high fat is the cause. Breast milk is 17.5% after a year of nursing. Adding fruit would not be a problem. Dr. D recommends about 20% fat for kids under 10. However avocado or nuts would add too much fat. Use nutridiary.com to calculate the daily food intake and see what it is. I would just exclude entering in the breast milk and see what it is. I don't know if the Mom is eating high fat if this will bring the fat percentages in breast milk higher, I guess it could be a factor too. In societies who never brushed their teeth and never had tooth decay, their fat intake was low.
I read one woman ask about her child who was flossing and brushing really well but still had tooth decay and the dentist asked if the child had diabetes as if this could be the cause. We know that high fat intake will give us diabetes in a matter of hours as demonstrated in this video: Diabetes explained . You can also read about it in the book Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes .
Remineralizing teeth has been reported from people here on 30BaD when the dentin is still intact, (the outer most protective layer). At least one person on 811 for some time has said their fillings all fell out and they have had no sensitivities or growing holes.
These videos are great on lfrv tooth health:
there are quite a few threads on healing cavities, here is one:
hi Cherish... I am so sorry you are going through this. This did happen to me. It was years ago before I came across 80-10-10. The most painful was changing what my daughter drank. I don't know if this is blasphemous, but I put water in a bottle and trained her on that for a while for night time. Just an idea.