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About teethcleaning

(19 Posts)
Bambalina Tue 09-Feb-16 08:49:49

(this is stupid I know, but pissing me off, please be nice)

AIBU to insist DD (3yo) has her teeth cleaned after her last cup of milk, as opposed to DP's preference to clean her teeth, then give her her last cup of milk while she has a bedtime story (then straight to sleep)

My argument: I have advanced gum disease, I have massive anxiety for dental visits (to the point I have sedation just for a check up - wimpy I know, but it works for me), my parents both have advanced gum disease so there is a very real likelihood this could be part of her genetic make-up. I am scrupulous about cleaning my teeth properly twice a day, and want to pass on the same hygiene practices to DD and prevent dental decay. There is sugar in whole milk, albeit probably a small amount (I yet have to fully research my 'argument' with quantities and actual proof) and I am not happy for that to be sitting on her teeth and gums for the whole night. That the general advice we are given from our wellchild provider is to brush teeth after food and before bed.

His argument: that I am just transferring my anxiety about the dentist on to her, that milk neutralises sugar and there's a study published somewhere in America (but ultimately, internet-research) that says so (I have yet to read it, but from what he told me, sounds like very small sample size (20 adults) and not covering long-term or child outcomes), that this is an essential part of her evening routine (which it isn't and has never been for me - another bugbear - I have always emphasised the need for consistency in our approaches with parenting), and that we never brushed her teeth when she was breastfeeding (she didn't really have any for the first few months, and when she did, I brushed that but not super regularly, only when she started solids).

Facts: I am the SAHP but he puts her to bed at least 3 nights a week (so I can do some exercise and time out)
He brushes his teeth once a day (or when he remembers!) and hasn't seen a dentist in well over 10 years.
We are not living in the UK (so not sure if our wellchild advice differs from the UK).

If, and I know this is highly unlikely as this 'topic' seems so ridiculous, any of you reading has researched actual dental recommendations or has any good links or advice on whether milk does or doesn't affect dental health, would appreciate your sharing, thanks. I'm intending to do a proper full online immersion on the topic when I know I have more than 20 mins uninterrupted computer time

NannyR Tue 09-Feb-16 08:57:17

Milk has a lot of natural sugar in it. You are right to want to brush her teeth afterwards. When the toddler I look after was at the age where he had milk before bed as part of his routine, I would give his teeth a really good brush in the bathroom, then I would take his toothbrush with a smear of toothpaste on it into the bedroom and give his teeth a quick brush after milk just before popping him into bed.

Justsaynonow Tue 09-Feb-16 08:58:40

I've always heard milk before bed in bottles contributes to dental caries - would assume the same for drinking it before bed -never heard anything to the contrary. That's why bedtime bottles should only contain water. Though I have to admit I haven't researched this in a looong time. smile

Milk doesn't neutralize sugar - it contains sugar (lactose). I'd always insist on brushing before bed, and no eating/drinking anything after that. DH wasn't as picky as me (sounds like yours - you can tell him mine just spent $$$$ on dental implants) so I'd do it.

Paddingtonthebear Tue 09-Feb-16 09:00:45

Milk before teeth brushing. Milk has lactose in it which is a form of sugar and will sit on the teeth overnight because the mouth won't produce enough saliva to neutralise it. And wait 30 mins after eating before brushing teeth.

As told to me by a dental surgeon quite recently.

Bambalina Thu 11-Feb-16 03:59:07

Thanks guys, I'm suspecting its just him digging his heels in, I think he feels like he has to actively do things differently to me to mark his personal touch or something, dunno how to explain it.
The whole neutralising sugar thing sounded so weird to me, so hence checking if anyone else had heard this?

I've told him he can sit with her when she starts having dental work done, which he's just said "ok" but fuck it, why not try to prevent that in the first place??!!

The only way I can see to get round this is to not have my time out or exercise so I can put her to bed every.single. night. which I feel fucking annoyed about, since I would then be getting zero break from her and reinforcing his belief that I am an irrational and unreasonable control freak.

HaveIGotAClue Thu 11-Feb-16 04:06:26

Any routine can become a bedtime routine. Say, milk at 6.45. Upstairs for toothbrushing. Into pj's, into bed, nice and snug for bed-time story. Glass of water for if she becomes thirsty (she won't).

He is digging his heels in against the face of copious amounts of medical/dental research.

There are acids in milk. Sugars. It has an ability to cling to teeth. The man is an ignoramus.

Mrswinkler Thu 11-Feb-16 04:08:27

Make sure you both go to her next dentist appointment with her. Ask the dentist. He can't argue with them and they'll totally agree with you.

steff13 Thu 11-Feb-16 04:09:34

I agree with the others - milk has a lot of sugar, I wouldn't let that sit on her teeth all night.

Is this what he was talking about, "neutralizing?"

Cheby Thu 11-Feb-16 04:14:30

Breastmilk direct from the breast is fine, as it contains things to combat cavities. That might be where the neutralising thing comes from. Cows milk is not, whether from a cup or bottle. It's just full of sugar.

We do PJs, milk, story, brush teeth, final story in bed in our house. I have terrible teeth as well and I am adamant it will not be passed on to DD. Just discuss together at your DD's next dental check up. I'm sure the dentist will support you.

Cheby Thu 11-Feb-16 04:16:10

Oh, and ideally you're looking for at least 20 minutes between finishing the milk and brushing teeth. Because the sugars can temporarily weaken enamel, so brushing immediately after sugary food is bad. I think!

Bambalina Thu 11-Feb-16 04:22:06

yes it is Steff. And OMG the Daily Mail has published it so it must be true!

The bedtime routine I follow is pretty much what you mentioned HaveIGotAClue, and it usually works fine. I give her the milk in the bath if she won't drink it earlier. With me she gets one story, so no wiggle room for drawing it allout (he will do 2-4 stories,milk, plus songs, but if it works for them . . . whatever, thats the majority of his quality time with her after work). She has a spouted cup of water in her bed (only because it doesn't leak when left open) so doesn't need extra liquid, and certainly when she starts night toilet training, I will be giving her smaller amounts of liquid before bed! I think thats a ways off yet though.

The thing is, he will likely be working whenever she next does dentist appointment, because Mon-Fri likely appt times . . . I will bear this in mind though, as it was just me at her last one. He doesn't really trust dentists, the whole fluoride thing, so wouldn't really listen to their recommendations I reckon

Bambalina Thu 11-Feb-16 04:23:00

ah I never knew that about the 20 mins though . . .

weechops Thu 11-Feb-16 06:46:08

Definitely make sure you brush after milk. With my first dd I was a bit clueless and she had a cup of milk to help her go to sleep each night til around 18 months. This was the only 'sugary' thing she ever had. At age 7 she had to have 10 teeth removed under general anaesthetic because of the damage caused when she was a toddler. How guilty did I feel!! She did have some chocolate etc as she got older, but I was meticulous in cleaning her teeth each day, however the dentist said the damage had already been done. Her adult teeth are perfectly healthy though, thankfully.

Vanderwaals Thu 11-Feb-16 07:40:14

Milk has lactose in it which is a sugar. 'ose' means it's a sugar, just like glucose, sucrose, fructose, galactose, etc.
Definitely brush her teeth afterwards, but not straight afterwards!

marriednotdead Thu 11-Feb-16 07:50:56

Not the perfect solution but Lactose free milk is easy to obtain and tastes just the same. Maybe that way you can both feel better.

honkinghaddock Thu 11-Feb-16 08:22:01

You need to leave at least 30 mins between the milk and brushing. My dentist told me that if you cannot leave that long then you are better off brushing before you give the milk.

GirlInTheDirtyShirt Thu 11-Feb-16 10:47:26

Lactose free milk still contains sugar. It just contains lactase (an enzyme) which breaks the lactose down into glucose and galactose (simpler sugars).

Quoteunquote Thu 11-Feb-16 12:30:14

expert advice

VerySlovenly Thu 11-Feb-16 19:45:35

He is being ridiculous. Milk neutralises sugar??! Please don't give in to him.

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