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BF causing cavities?

(18 Posts)
CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 10-Jul-08 20:56:09

DD1 has lots of cavities, to the extent she needs 4 teeth taking out (she's only 3). The dentist asked how long I'd breastfed her (because I was breastfeeding DD2), I said 2 years and a bit and she said that the recommendations in this country is children are only BF until their top teeth come out. I know this is rubbish. I know it's 12 months or more. I don't see why the top teeth would be more vulnerable than the bottom teeth.

Anyway, I'm really annoyed with myself. Because 1) I didn't know the exact relationship between breast milk and teeth to counteract and 2) I didn't want to come across as obnoxious or something and make her pull out even more teeth from my DD. This is totally stupid as nobody would do such a thing but I just slipped into the patient role and wanted everything to be OK.

Another dr has suggested DD1 has rickets because she was breastfed for too long. She is quite small for her age (3y4m and only 14kg).

Brangelina Thu 10-Jul-08 21:10:18

I'm sorry, both dentist and doctor sound like they're talking utter bollocks to me.

Some dentists come out with the bfeeding causes caries, but I thought that had been disproved. One of DP's friends is a dentist and he'd read somewhere that bfed babies were more likely to have better teeth, because of the nature of the lactose contained in bmilk, as opposed to the dextrose contained in formula or the lactose in cow's milk.

My DD is 3 and only 11.5kg, yet her paed thinks there's nothing wrong with her, she's perfectly healthy and growing well. I've never heard of rickets being caused by bfeeding too long (is there a too long?). Vitamiin D deficiency is primarily caused by lack of sunlight. Did your DD exclusively bfeed until 2yo, ie no other food whatsoever? If so, there may be a link, but otherwise the dear doc is talking out of his bottomsmile.

Brangelina Thu 10-Jul-08 21:11:59

Oh yes, apparently bfeeding helps with proper formation of the palate, so teeth tend to be straighter compared to feeding from bottles.

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Jul-08 21:18:33

argh, I had a great link the other day from LLL re breastfeeding and cavities.
erm, will try and find it again

lackaDAISYcal Thu 10-Jul-08 21:27:56

what a load of unmentionable they are talking. The nipple is so far back in their mouth that the teeth don't really come into contact with milk afaik.

and you said he "suggested she has rickets because...." Do you mean she has rickets and his reasoning is because she was BF? or just that he is suggesting she has rickets as she is small and it must be because of the BFing.

I thought rickets, in western countries, was more to do with a deficiency of vitamin D
from sunlight rather than nutritional from exclusive BFing.

Has she been tested for coeliac disease as this can cause nutritional rickets and poor growth?

Brangelina Thu 10-Jul-08 21:29:58

Was it something like this?

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Jul-08 21:31:31

it#s here

fishie Thu 10-Jul-08 21:31:52

what a poor lot of medics you have cristina.

rickets ffs i would never go near them again.

cavities in 3yo and tooth removal is a serious business though, do you have any idea why? i'd be looking for reasons.

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Jul-08 21:32:27

this is the paragraph you really need though:


Non-breastfeeding infants are at a higher risk for tooth decay when compared to breastfed babies (2, 20). Components present in human milk play a protective role. Immune factors such as Secretory IgA and IgG can slow the growth of the specific types of streptococcus mutans colonizing the child's mouth (21, 22). Lactoferrin in mothers' milk has a bacteriocidal effect (destroying bacteria), as well (6). Dr. Pamela Erickson studied the decay potential of various liquids (23, 24). Water had a decay potential of 0.00 and a 10 percent sucrose solution had a decay potential of 1.00. Human milk had a decay potential of 0.01, close to that of plain water. Various formulas differed in their ability to lower the pH, to support the growth of S. mutans, and to dissolve tooth enamel. Human milk did not lower the pH in plaque (the sticky usually colorless film on teeth that is formed by and harbors bacteria), and did not support the growth of S. mutans. Additionally, calcium and phosphorus in human milk were actually deposited on the tooth enamel. However, when 10 percent sucrose was added to human milk, the decay potential rose to 1.30. It was concluded that human milk by itself is not cariogenic.

domesticslattern Thu 10-Jul-08 21:37:44

Not sure if I have the answer, but my friend who is a dentist spotted an extended bf child because their teeth rotted in an unusual way. The back teeth rotted, rather than the front (which one would usually see if for example they had been given sugary drinks). In that case though it was a child of six (!). He certainly never mentioned it being an issue for one or two year olds.

I like the name BTW- are you a Nick Cave fan?

fishie Thu 10-Jul-08 21:41:43

domesticslattern i cannot believe that breastmilk rots teeth. otherwise none of us would have any teeth, evolutionwise.

as thisisyesterday's piece says.

fedupandisolated Thu 10-Jul-08 21:41:51

Have to say my friend had this with her daughter. Needed three teeth taking out (at age 2.5) and dentist felt that the way the teeth had rotted pointed to prolonged breastfeeding.

However, also said that despite this my friend had still given her daughter the best start in life.

kiskidee Thu 10-Jul-08 21:45:44

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Jul-08 21:46:27

In a child of 6? there are many, many reasons for dental cavities.
you cannot put it down to any one single thing.

lenny101 Thu 10-Jul-08 21:54:10

I seem to remember that there may be an issue with cavities due to extended nightfeeding... maybe, though with regular cleaning I don't know. Rickets? Surely this is complete rot?

fishie Thu 10-Jul-08 21:58:52

what are they teaching them at dentist school?

magicfarawaytree Thu 10-Jul-08 22:05:57

there are lots of common ailments that cna cause issue with teeth - acid coeliac/celiac disease paediatrician believes dd1 has acid reflux but is doing a few more test to rule out coeliac disease etc. dentist just wrote the whole thing off as bad dental hygiene even though 2 other dcs have perfect teeth and I brush them all!

CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 10-Jul-08 22:16:35

Thanks for all the replies. I'm reading through all the links, which is why it's taking me a while to get back.

Dslattern - yes! Nick Cave fan, well spotted!!

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