Really weird negative message from my dentist and others yesterday re. extended breastfeeding

(40 Posts)
SleepFreeZone Thu 18-Aug-16 12:25:31

So went to the dentist yesterday and hot talking about my 6 month old still waking me regularly in the night to feed. She expressed surprise I was still breast feeding initially then suggested I stop sooner rather than later because of the risk of tooth decay as 'breast milk is very sweet'.

I said that babies relied on milk as their primary food source until 1, so I had planned to breast feed until 1 and see what I felt like then (my older DC weaned himself at 1 which was fine). She said I should quit then ideally confused. I said WHO guidelines were to feed till 2 and she was horrified.

So I go downstairs and start chit chatting to the receptionists who were telling me stories of recent referred cases where the children had decayed teeth because of extended breast feeding and everyone in the surgery was shocked.

Here is my question. Surely it depends on whether the child is feeding through the night as they get older so the teeth are constantly awash with milk? If my youngest starts to sleep through and I just feed in the day then surely that's ok? How is it different to giving cows milk in the day?

They made me feel like breast milk was the Devils drink for teeth and I should just give the whole thing up immediately.

Haggisfish Thu 18-Aug-16 12:26:50

Ignore ignore!!!

trolleydolly2411 Thu 18-Aug-16 12:30:06

What a load of nonsense! Don't know where she got her facts from but they're completely incorrect. The longer you can breast feed the better IMO.

And well done for getting this far with it, keep going! smile

RockinHippy Thu 18-Aug-16 12:30:29

6 months, or even a year is NOT extended breastfeeding, but giving your DCs a healthy start in life

Ignore!!!

timelytess Thu 18-Aug-16 12:31:45

What a pile of tat! Erm... what are milk teeth for? Duh, dentist!

elephantfeet Thu 18-Aug-16 12:32:34

Ignore. She is talking rubbish. Enjoy feeding your baby.

SecretSpy Thu 18-Aug-16 12:35:56

Breastfeeding is good for dental health. I'd be very surprised if the surgery is teeming with older breastfed toddlers with decayed teeth - they are a very rare species indeed.

milkmatters.org.uk/2010/12/05/breastfeeding-tooth-decay/

www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/News-and-Research/Research/Dental-health/Evidence-that-breastfeeding-leads-to-good-dental-occlusion-and-well-formed-dental-arches/

www.brianpalmerdds.com/caries.htm

kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/tooth-decay/

readingrainbow Thu 18-Aug-16 12:36:13

What utter rubbish. Absolutely ignore.

NaturalRBF Thu 18-Aug-16 12:40:19

Is they are bottle fed then milk pools at the front of the teeth. Breastfeeding is different as the nipple goes to the back of the mouth

They're talking shit

DataColour Thu 18-Aug-16 12:44:28

I breastfed my DD till she was 4.5yrs and her teeth are just fine. Sounds like rubbish "advice" to me.

TheCaptainsCat Thu 18-Aug-16 12:44:29

They are talking nonsense. Also, six months isn't extended breastfeeding, it's pretty much the recommended bare minimum!

Anecdotally my brother and I both BF - and night nursed - until we were three, we are now both around 30 and have never had a filling or even a hint of a cavity in either our milk or adult teeth!

WilLiAmHerschel Thu 18-Aug-16 12:47:06

Wow I was expecting you to be talking about a much older child! That dentist sounds very misinformed.

doleritedinosaur Thu 18-Aug-16 12:53:04

Dentist has given out very incorrect information.

Extended breastfeeding I thought was beyond a year anyway. WHO guidelines are 2 years but other cultures go far beyond that.

My DS is still breastfed at 17 months, I brush his teeth twice a day & have done since 6 months.

I have friends who breast fed past 2 years & all children have healthy teeth.

Just ignore & beast feed for as long as you want to.

SpeakNoWords Thu 18-Aug-16 12:56:20

I think people are a bit blind to the amount of sugar their child consumes through food and sugary drinks, making it easier to blame something like breastfeeding for any decay.

I breastfed my DS till 16 months and now at 4 yrs old his teeth are perfect. I personally wouldn't worry about it.

sentia Thu 18-Aug-16 12:58:20

I breastfed DD at night (a lot, she woke up at least three times for feeds) until she was about 11 months and her teeth seem to be completely fine (now nearly 3). But then she rarely has sugary food / drinks - is your dentist sure that the root cause of the problem is milk?

Does it matter if baby teeth have decay? I had numerous fillings in my baby teeth. They all fell out and I've never had fillings in my adult teeth, nor any ongoing dental problems. There has to be an evolutionary reason that the first lot of teeth are sacrificial.

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Thu 18-Aug-16 13:02:56

I got really worried reading the OP as I am still breastfeeding a 10 month old with no end in sight. Thank goodness for the reassuring posts. I do know that my dentist breastfed both of her own children until the age of 9 months when she returned to work and she said she would have carried on if it wasn't for work. I dont think my dentist would risk her own children's teeth so I'm assuming this talk of breastfeeding and tooth decay is nonsense.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Aug-16 13:08:40

She is not talking rubbish unfortunately. Breast milk in the presence of other food in the mouth can accelerate decay. Didn't stop me though - just make sure DCs teeth are cleaned really really well before bed.

"The 1999 Erickson study (in which healthy teeth were immersed in different solutions) indicated that breastmilk alone was practically identical to water and did not cause tooth decay – another experiment even indicated that the teeth became stronger when immersed in breastmilk. However, when a small amount of sugar was added to the breastmilk, the mixture was worse than a sugar solution when it came to causing tooth decay. This study emphasizes the importance of tooth brushing and good dental hygiene."

kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/tooth-decay/

TronaldDump Thu 18-Aug-16 13:34:52

I met a woman once (who seemed quite sensible and intelligent otherwise) who said she hadn't weaned her child onto solid food until after 12 months as she 'didn't know' when to wean him. Apparently he was breastfed the whole time and she was still bf quite frequently at 2.5. The child's teeth were absolutely dreadful, really visibly rotten as soon as he opened his mouth!

I bf DS1 to 13 months and am still bf DS2 (10 months) and of course she might have been talking bollocks but it put the fear of god into me! Ever since that I made sure teeth were well brushed AFTER the last feed of the night!

SpeakNoWords Thu 18-Aug-16 13:43:59

As long as you clean their teeth before bed (thus removing as much of the food related sugar as possible), then it isn't going to be a problem. Giving formula or cows milk in a bottle is going to be the same or worse as breastfeeding overnight. So it's not a question of breastfeeding being the issue, it's a question of good dental hygiene generally.

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Thu 18-Aug-16 14:02:43

Thinking about it more - i have many nieces and nephews and 5 of them have had very serious tooth decay as toddlers, none of them were breastfed. General diet and dental hygiene are very important factors. Raisins for snacks and juice / sugary squash in a bottle are big culprits.

AnnieOnnieMouse Thu 18-Aug-16 14:12:37

They're talking bull.
All teeth need to be cleaned, no matter how the baby is fed.
And in my book, it doesn't get to be extended breast feeding until after about 2 years old.

Cherylene Thu 18-Aug-16 14:15:31

confused
Clean teeth twice a day with a baby toothpaste that contains fluoride. Do it for them when they are older, if you have to.

I was told that the introduction of fluoride into toothpaste was the biggest reason for reduction of dental decay. My now adult children have never had a filling in their lives. (BF until 9/10months). I was around before it was generally done (I think it became the thing when I was about 7), and I cannot remember a time when I did not have fillings.

I would have thought the biggest risk was to you. Hormone changes from pregnancy etc can have an effect on teeth and gums, which is why NHS gives free dentistry (or used to - no idea if this is up to date). Plenty of calcium and vit D in your diet and good dental hygiene wink

SleepFreeZone Thu 18-Aug-16 14:36:30

Don't worry I am beyond scrupulous with my dental health and this time round it's lucky I have been as my gums really suffered.

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Thu 18-Aug-16 15:16:01

cherylene do they need baby toothpaste? I always thought it was better to use a pea sized amount of adult toothpaste to prevent decay?

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Thu 18-Aug-16 15:19:32

Sorry, that should say a pea sized amount of adult toothpaste for school aged children and a smear for babies.

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