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Milk after brushing teeth - how bad is it?

(27 Posts)
IveNoIntentionOfMakingCupcakes Tue 16-Oct-12 22:03:01

My DD is 19 mths old and drinks a bottle of cows' milk to go to sleep at night. We brush her teeth thoroughly before her bottle but not afterwards. I know this is not recommended but just wondering how bad it is for her teeth? I am scared to change things becuase I know it'll be so hard to get her to sleep any other way...

MoonlightandWerewolves Tue 16-Oct-12 22:50:00

It's not great as the sugars in the milk can rot their teeth.
If she's really attached to the bottle though could you maybe start watering it down over the next little while until she's onto pure water instead?

gnoomi Tue 16-Oct-12 22:56:24

My dentist told me it was completely fine to give cows milk in this way. She said water or cows milk only.

hauntedhouse Tue 16-Oct-12 23:18:18

I did the same with my son. The dentist had to fill in two small spots when he was four, which only took a couple of minutes. No other adverse effects.

2beornot Tue 16-Oct-12 23:25:27

Wow. That OP could be me! She'd be far too alert if I tried brushing afterwards but I figured the benefits outweigh the negatives in this case.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 17-Oct-12 03:51:02

Us too. I am dreading the dentist next month. The only good thing is she loves brushing her teeth so they are spotless apart from this.

differentnameforthis Wed 17-Oct-12 03:58:44

Anything that goes in her mouth (except water) will cause an acid attack, which is what leads to decay starting. It is not a good idea to give anything directly before bed, after brushing.

ZuleikaD Wed 17-Oct-12 07:54:28

Milk is extremely sugary and very bad for teeth, particularly in a bottle as the milk spends longer in the mouth. If she has to have it, perhaps you could drop the bottle as a first step and move to a cup. She might surprise you and be fine with it.

IveNoIntentionOfMakingCupcakes Wed 17-Oct-12 09:11:52

Mmmm, I think you guys are confirming what I already know: that giving her milk after brushing is pretty bad. Even if it's been ok for some childrens teeth it might not be ok for her and it's not a risk I can take. Think I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet and change things. Eeeeek!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 17-Oct-12 09:15:13

Anything that goes in her mouth (except water) will cause an acid attack, which is what leads to decay starting. It is not a good idea to give anything directly before bed, after brushing

Breast milk is also ok as long as teeth are properly clean.

LadyMargolotta Wed 17-Oct-12 09:16:35

It's not a good idea to brush teeth immediately after drinking milk. You need to wait 20 minutes or so, so give the mouth's own saliva the chance to rinse out the mouth. Otherwise you risk brushing the milk further into the teeth.

differentnameforthis Wed 17-Oct-12 09:20:25

ItsAllGoingToBeFine You are right, I often forget about bm!

hauntedhouse Thu 18-Oct-12 15:33:54

Breast milk is also ok as long as teeth are properly clean.

May I ask what's the reason behind this? Human milk contains more lactose (the only sugar in milk) than cow's milk. So why is the former OK, but not the latter???

Child's smile website suggests that only soy-based formula milk contains sugars.

ZombTEE Thu 18-Oct-12 15:39:34

It's one thing I ignore. My son still likes his cup of milk just before bed and I'm sure not going to wait 20 minutes or have him be woken up by teeth brushing after he's all sleepy and settled.

shrug So far (he's 3.4) his teeth are fine.

Lottapianos Thu 18-Oct-12 15:46:32

You do need to brush her teeth before sleep OP. And (sorry) she should be off her bottle too sad The advice we give is no bottles or dummes after 1 year old.

ZombTEE Thu 18-Oct-12 15:51:14

Oh my son also had his bottle until he was 3.

Again...teeth are fine.

Even my dentist says don't worry about it until the baby teeth are gone.

He also has a dummy.

Judge away.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Oct-12 16:05:22

*Breast milk is also ok as long as teeth are properly clean.

May I ask what's the reason behind this? Human milk contains more lactose (the only sugar in milk) than cow's milk. So why is the former OK, but not the latter???*

Breast milk is anti bacterial.

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

hauntedhouse Thu 18-Oct-12 16:13:21

This article seems to be rather dated with most recent cited sources from 2000. Here's Science Daily from 2005 claiming otherwise: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051007092923.htm

LimeLeafLizard Thu 18-Oct-12 16:23:11

Like ZombTee, this is one piece of advice that I ignore. For my 2 and 4 yo, we do bath, teeth, milk, bed in that order. DS is 8 and has always had perfect teeth, though now his adult teeth are coming through, we do make him clean them after the milk instead.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Oct-12 16:25:53

hauntedhouse I have some issues with that study.

The conclusions of the article I linked to were that breast milk has no negative I've impact on teeth as long as other foodstuffs weren't present.

The study you linked to was done on rats, as opposed to analysing the condition of human teeth and the circumstances they live in. It doesn't mention if the rats were solely fed on milk, if they were fed, then they would need to have had their teeth cleaned. Also, it does not mention if humans and rats have the same bacteria in their mouths, as I presume human milk is designed to tackle human bacteria?

hauntedhouse Thu 18-Oct-12 16:56:54

I'm not too confident about either of those studies. Kellymom mentions teeth immersed in milk - whose teeth? extracted or 'live'? However, for both studies the general conclusion is that unsweetened milk won't cause much harm. Stressful and/or delayed bedtime may well outweigh the benefits of brushing 20 minutes after last cup.

FeralGirlCambs Thu 18-Oct-12 18:06:35

Ooh, I'm so glad I'm not the only ignorer out there. My DD is only 16 months but I have been kind of working on my still having perfect teeth aged 32 despite not having baby teeth brushed at all till age 2 (back in more benighted times) She gets hers done after bath, before milk and I figure when the milk goes or naturally migrates to not be last thing before sleep (bath, milk, teeth, story?) I'll live with the guilt.

IveNoIntentionOfMakingCupcakes Thu 18-Oct-12 20:42:02

Totally confused now. Lottapianos are you an HV? I really don't know how else to settle her as she won't sit still for a moment. Even trying to read stories or look at picture books doesn't work at the moment as she jumps down and charges around. We do stick to a routine and keep everything low key before bed but she's full of beans all the time...

surroundedbyblondes Thu 18-Oct-12 20:47:21

We also cheerfully do bath, teeth, milk, bed. It works for us and our dentist says all is fine.

DD2 is 2 and has her milk in a bottle. She also has a dummy. We have no plans to take either off her in the immediate future.

Floggingmolly Thu 18-Oct-12 20:51:51

I'd be wary of any dentist that said cows milk in a bottle last thing at night is fine.
Google pictures of baby bottle mouth. Not pretty.

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