Links for ‘Dentists & Breastfeeding’

February 12, 2010 at 12:38 am Leave a comment

This is “Part Two” to my post Dentists & Breastfeeding:

The following are a few excerpts with links for various web sites, articles, discussion boards, etc., that I came across in my search for more information. This list does not reflect everything I found or came across, but can certainly give other parents or interested parties a launching pad for their own research. Terms I found useful to use were: ‘dental caries,’ ‘ECC,’ ‘strap mutans,’ ‘bottle mouth vs. nursing decay,’ ‘breastfeeding and dental caries,’ ‘dental caries in infants, toddlers,’ etc.

kellymom.com was a resource often used in a Yahoo! Group about young kids’ teeth (that link is following). From Is Breastfeeding Linked to Tooth Decay?:

In a study done by Dr. Torney, no correlation was found between early onset (< 2 yrs) dental caries and breastfeeding patterns such as frequent night feeds, feeding to sleep, etc. He is convinced that under normal circumstances, the antibodies in breastmilk counteract the bacteria in the mouth that cause decay. However, if there are small defects in the enamel, the teeth become more vulnerable and the protective effect of breastmilk is not enough to counteract the combined effect of the bacteria and the sugars in the milk. Enamel defects occur when the first teeth are forming in utero. His explanation is based on quite a large study of long-term breastfed children with and without caries.

I found this passage most helpful. As I noted in my previous post, my son’s tooth emerged with a small, brown dot already on it. The dentists I went to see for counsel brushed this information aside and continued to insist the cause was nursing. I believe that the cause is a weakness in his tooth enamel due to my diet immediately prior to and during pregnancy. For two years before I became pregnant, I started smoking cigarettes (I know — who chooses to start smoking at 27 when it was such fun asking “Why are people smoking in this day and age?” It was a dark time for me). I also drank beer quite regularly, the alcohol and hops of which breaks down into sugars. Sugars are not good for teeth, but also not good for the body, which affects your teeth. I was addicted to breads and high-sugar fruits. While pregnant, my favorite phrase was “taco-bell-butterfinger-blizzard.” (It’s true.)

I also found that this article, Myth: Breastfeeding and Dental Caries, validated my decision to continue on-cue breastfeeding as I always have, including at night (emphasis added by me):

FACT: There is no published, valid evidence that establishes long-term, at-will breastfeeding as a risk factor in BBTD. Limitation of the duration of breastfeeding has documented negative consequences to the baby and mother. “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay” is a disease of artificial feeding.

At Eve’s Best, I found Cavities in Baby Teeth, which was not biased to breastfeeding mothers, but considered the prevention of cavities. In regard to breastfeeding, the site says:

As soon as your baby has teeth, wipe them clean after each meal. While breastmilk actually contains natural cavity fighters, formula does not.

Do not allow your formula fed baby to go to sleep with a bottle, unless you plan on cleaning his teeth with a wipe and tooth gel after he is asleep.

This site was most helpful in providing solutions, what I most needed after two disappointing dentist appointments. I did not want to believe that our only recourse would be surgery, especially at 17 months. It was on this same page that I found out about Xylitol and its bacteria-fighting properties, as well as NovaMin, the active ingredient in Oravive toothpaste. I also learned about the support group and forum veryyoungkidsteeth. The group has been very informative. For kids who know how to spit, there is also MI Paste, which is available through dentist offices without a prescription, if your dentist carries it (it does contain fluoride); however, MI Paste is milk derived with lactose content less than 0.01%. If you or your child are allergic or have high-sensitivity to casein or lactose, be cautious.

Eve’s Best is full of information and links offering natural approaches to preventing, aiding and some would say even curing, tooth decay.

Which brings me to a very large resource you may have come across yourselves: Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel. This approach focuses on diet, and if you’re into food, you probably heard about the research on which this diet is based: Weston A. Price.

I bought the book and started reading it immediately on my iPod Kindle app. The book itself is a bit pricey for me ($24), so I went with the digital version ($15). However, before you do that, the website is loaded with information. So much so, that I dare say you do not have to buy the book (though sometimes, it is so much nicer to hold a book in your hands to quote, read out loud, or just have for flipping back and forth and around, etc.). The only parts of the program I have seriously adopted thus far is to take cod liver oil every day. My son loves the stuff (so bizarre), and I chase it with water or some peanut butter (I really don’t like fish flavors). I do endeavor to eat only pastured animals and I avoid dairy. But as I have done a lot of other research concerning food, I will delve into that later. (I’m quite excited to start soon actually. My research has gone far and wide from vegan to paleo [caveman diet]).

And a most helpful, science-based and well-supported article providing a good list of resources is Big Bad Cavities: Breastfeeding is Not the Cause. If you don’t read anything else, certainly read this one.

I hope that the above links and information is helpful, and that once you’ve explored those, clicks here and there bring you to more information. Have fun, carry on, and love those babies (if you got ’em).

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Entry filed under: Breastfeeding, Teeth. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Dentists and Breastfeeding Update: Whiter!

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