Monday, September 15, 2008


Please, tell me I am not the only one who is going through this. It is quite upsetting, when I am repeatedly told that the reason my children's baby teeth are so bad is because I am breastfeeding them--and yes, I nurse in the middle of the night, and no, I do not brush their teeth at 2:30 in the morning----I just got back from the dentist with Little Kevin and his teeth are in very bad shape--the dentist made me feel horrible----I explained to her, that yes, I do brush my baby's teeth--in the morning and before bed----and she said, that if I don't stop nursing this is never going to stop---I am just devastated.

He has to reach 18 months and 25 pounds for her to fix the cavities---which means he has to be put under---Do I let her fix them or do I let my baby's teeth rot out of his mouth---of course they will be fixed, but I am just sick about him having to be put under----I explained to her, that he has a very good diet and he does not eat a lot of sugar--I give him juice, but it is watered down---- he eats fruits and veggies and so many other healthy foods along with some fun foods--but everything is in moderation--she said, bad teeth are a result of diet and brushing--well, all my kids have a great diet and I do brush his teeth--then my pediatrician told me, not to beat my self up with this--that in my case it is truly, most likely hereditary---
On another note---my husband gave Kevin a lick of his ice cream cone--it had peanuts on them---you know those nutty buddy cones--well, my son broke out in this horrible rash all over his body--now, Little Kevin is going to have tests to see how serious this peanut allergy is--oh, how upsetting-----Thank goodness, it was just a rash and his tongue did not swell and throat close up--I was just terrified--I have never known anyone with a peanut allergy!

Does any one have any stories to share about bad baby teeth or peanut allergies, please let me know I am not alone!!--and am I the only one, that takes my one year old to the dentist--I thought for sure I was on top of it--everyone thinks I am silly for taking a baby to a dentist--but look what happens--his teeth are decayed--UGH! My neighbor has confessed that she rarely remembers to brush her kids teeth but that her daughter has never had a bad dentist appointment either, perfect teeth--I don't get it, I am so fanatical about oral hygiene and look where it got me----


Ann said...

Please, please don't blame yourself for your baby's bad teeth. It happens. And may I say I'd probably be looking for another dentist. One who has a better "bed-side" manner.

As for the peanut allergies. I'm allergic to peanuts and a bunch of other stuff. I know it made life tough for my mother sometimes when I was little but she dealt with it with her usual calmness and grace. As I'm sure you will if it comes to that with little Kevin. You love him and you are going to do everything it takes to keep him healthy and happy. I don't have to know you in real life to know that. I can read the love you have for all of your kids on here.

Anonymous said...

Julieanne, hugs.

Out of all the mom's I know you are the most conscientious about everything.

I think the teeth issue IS heriditary. My older two never had any teeth issues growing up. Hardly ever cavities, etc. They and I were not the best brushers!

As far as nursing, personally I would get a 2nd opinion on that from another dentist. Is this one a pediactric dentist?

Kiera has a pnut allergy. Never tested, but here is what happened. Once I gave her the tiniest dab of pnut butter on my finger at about 2 years old and immediately started hearing the fluid filling up and raspy sound. I immediately gave her benadryl and she was "ok". BUT since then I have an EPI Pen jr, just in case as well as benadryl. She doesn't get anything peanuts and I won't even try till she is at least 10 years old if ever.

I told two different pediatricians the story and they are the ones to subscribe the epi pen jr.

Its good that his reaction was a rash, because now you know. It is at the very least sensitivity and you just would want to keep him away from them.

It only is an issue once they start school and you have to be sure the staff is diligent, but a LOT of children have pnut allergies now and some schools are even NUT FREE schools, not allowing anything with peanuts.

You are a great mom and if your pediatrician says not to worry, then I wouldn't.

I'm sorry he has to be put out, but at least you know. I think I would go for a 2nd opinion though at the very least?


Mrs.Ruiz said...

My children had bad baby teeth from the bottle and I did take them to the dentist when they were babies, they both had dental surgery as toddlers. Of course it was scary but I couldnt let them live in pain from the cavitys, I had to trust the Dentists and Doctors. My son had many other surgeries that were not dental related, 8 in total. And my daughter at age 2 had a cyst the size of a golf ball on her neck, they did surgery to remove that. Dont blame yourself, you are feeding your son the best possible way, I wish I would have fed my babies that way. Keep up the good job, you are a wonderful mother and an inspiration to others.

deezie said...

Oh Julieann, you are so upset. Dont be about the dentist. You do what is right for you and your baby not what the dentist says. My daughters teeth are pretty bad and not one dentist ever told me to stop nursing her. She was never put under either. They just did the cavities without any novacaine either. They are usually right on the surface of the teeth at that age. She was fine with it when she was little. I brushed her teeth and she ate good too. I brush my teeth and floss and eat good and my teeth are always being worked on and my husband never flosses and never has any cavities at all. I think its all heritary.
As for the peanuts. You are lucky you caught that. I do know someone who has allergies to peanuts. It stinks having to read labels. Good luck with that. I will be praying that it all works out.
We just had Belle testes and found out she is allergic to Beef and Cows milk, oh how hard that is to not give her dairy, It seems to be in everything.
Try and have a Happy Day Julieann

Anonymous said...

Julieann, I'm sure it's not your fault. Some kids are just more prone to cavities. My oldest girl (14) has no cavities and I hate to say it, but I was really ignorant about toothbrushing for babies with her. I didn't even know she needed to go to the dentist till she was 4. With my next two boys, I was really careful, but they still ended up with mouths full of cavities by the time they started elementary school. And then my youngest girl, no cavities!! My pediatrician told me that some people's enamel isn't as good, and some people also naturally have more of the bacteria that causes cavities, and even if you brush, they'll still decay!! =(

Heather K said...

Julieann....don't worry about what the dentist told first 3 had wonderful teeth and I hate to say this but I was terrible with oral hygiene when they were little! I was soo exhausted..3 girls in 35 months! Their teeth were fine. So then 3 yrs later along came #4 child and I wasn't any better..maybe slightly..and she had tons of dentist just put in temporary fillings (without drilling)without freezing or any other type of anesthetic and she was fine...she's 10 and still has some of those fillings! A new hygienist was cleaning her teeth and looked VERY disgusted about the state of her teeth. I told her that yes she did have bad teeth but I don't know why because the other girls had great teeth...she just gave me that " oh yeah, sure, whatever" kind of look...but when my next child sat in the chair, she exclaimed how she couldn't believe the difference! soo....I think oral hygiene habits probably have something to do with it but sometimes it just doesn't seem to make any difference at all!
My girlfriend is fanatical about the flossing/brushing and her daughter has a mouth full of silver capped teeth! So....just relax...take a deep breath and get a second opinion!!

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry your little ones are going through health challenges. I agree that you might get a second opinion from another dentist.

When my dear daughter was in her preteens and very early teens, she was very, very diligent about her dental hygiene. Even so, she would have little cavities when she went to the dentist. The dentists would always chide her for not taking care of her teeth. This was devastating to her, as she really worked at keeping her teeth clean.

One month, her younger brother lost his toothbrush, and he did not tell us. I thought we were well past the stage of having to ask him if he was brushing his teeth. But, I should have known that my rough and tumble guy still needed a little prodding in that area.

Well, my daughter knew our dear son wasn't brushing his teeth. When it came time for checkups and cleanings, I made an appointment for the two of them to be seen one right after the other. Dear daughter went in first. Then, she came out and waited to see what would happen with her brother. She didn't tell me what she was thinking. She thought the dentist would certainly give him a lecture for not taking care of her teeth.

Imagine her shock when the dentist came out beaming behind my son and started bragging about how my son had been taking such excellent care of his teeth. Of course, I was one happy mother as the dentist praised my son's healthy teeth and obvious attention to dental care up and down. It wasn't until we are on the way home that our daughter revealed that our son had not brushed his teeth in a month, and he 'fessed up'. I think my daughter learned her first lesson in "Life isn't always fair" that day. I also learned that 12 year old boys may still need Mama to ask about tooth care from time to time.

Anonymous said...

I remember being a kid and going to the dentist. My mum and the dentist were talking about how I, the junkfood kid had a perfect mouthful of teeth and my sister the appleaholic had a mouthful of cavities. neither one of us were big on brushing. her teeth were just softer thats all.

i still eat poorly, brush twice daily but not like i ought to and rarely floss and after 10 years of not seeing a dentist i went last week and was told i have a whopping 2 cavities.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and have taught at school where we had a child with a peanut allergy. If he were to touch some one who had recently eaten a peanut he could have gone into anaphalatic shock and die. All the staff knew how to adminster an ephipen if this happened. This is a needle that has adrenaline in it. The school is a nut free zone. This means children can not bring any nuts to school in their lunches. Life threating peanut allergies are very common in australia.
Just thought you might be interested. Iam glad to hear your little one doesn't have this problem.
Also on teeeth when i was a young adult I refused to go to hte dentist after 10 years i went for my first check up and no fillings. I only have 1 filling so I do think some of it is just genetics.

cheers erica

Jackie said...

I also recommend that you change dentists. You need to find one who is going to be supportive and helpful and treat you and your children with respect. Going to the dentist is traumatic enough. You shouldn't have to deal with such a horrible person who obviously has issues.

Irene said...

Hi there! I just had to comment...

I am also a huge breastfeeding advocate. I exclusively BF my 3 little ones well past one year old. My sister BF each of her 4 little ones for well over a year, and my mom BF each of us for over a year. My sister and I have really good teeth. My kids teeth are perfect. Yes, I bf at night. No, I was no fanatically about brushing and I never brushed at night!

Now my sister has one boy who has really bad teeth. We are starting to think it is because they now have fluoridated water rather than fluoride tablets (her older kids were raised taking tablets). I have well water and my kids take fluoride. I often think that may be a better option.

Anyway, I seriously would RUN not walk to another dentist. Any dentist who would actually tell you to STOP breastfeeding because it will ruin teeth literally is an idiot. Sorry to be harsh, but he is. Talk to any la leche league advisor, any breastfeeding advocate, they will definitely, without a doubt, tell you the same thing. Just because he is a doctor does NOT mean he knows everything. And, IMO, he definitely knows nothing.

Breastfeeding is absolutely the best thing. There is NO WAY it is causing teeth problems.

Thanks for getting me fired up today! I feel like talking to this dentist myself! UGH!!!!!

Lori said...


The same thing happened to us here..
Derek had 4 cavaties when we took him in one time.
Then we really stepped up the dental program.
We brush teeth at least 3 times a day, use a prerinse, floss, use a water pick, use a flouride rinse
We went back the next time and he had yet another cavity.
I thought WHAT....we are doing almost everything that we can for our teeth.
So no its not you.
Sometimes I do believe that it does have to do with heredity and maybe the way there baby teeth were formed...if they are soft or something or are more cavity prone.?????
Good luck.

Hugs, Lori

Anonymous said...

Please don't beat yourself up over it! It is NOT your fault! I also have a child that was blessed with a few cavities at a very young age. I thought I was doing everything right. I am a SAHM so my JOB was to make sure everything was perfect, and if a cavity invaded my child's teeth, I felt like I failed. I brushed his teeth 3 times a day and only gave water in the middle of the night. Went to his checkup at 2 and he had 10 (yes TEN!) small cavities. I was crushed. I was a failure. I was embarrassed and wouldn't tell anyone but my husband. His was because of apple juice. The dentist chided me for giving my kid JUICE! I thought I was a good Mom having him drink juice instead of Koolaid like so many other Moms were giving their children his same age. We got cavities, they didn't. Life wasn't fair, I thought. But...the good news is he survived and so did I. We fixed all those cavities one at a time. Then he lost all those baby teeth with all the bad memories and he got in NEW beautiful teeth and barely a cavity since (and he's 21 now LOL!). So there is good news...all those teeth and cavities will be gone someday (and way too soon as they grow up so quickly). So don't worry yourself over it. You are a GREAT Mom and this isn't your fault.

Kelli said...

Oh boy! I have some dental stories to tell and I have cried many tears. I took Grace to the dentist when she was two and they were very rude and told me the same thing even though I stopped nursing her at 15 months. They said she had a cavity in every tooth and would have to be put down. We took her to another dentist and the report was completely different! She had 5 small cavities that we got fixed with just laughing gas.

I honestly believe that you are born with good or bad teeth. Both of my girls have bad teeth and Grace just had a root canal on an adult tooth (she's 10!). I cried for days. The dentist we have now is wonderful and likes to keep an eye on baby teeth that have cavities. If they are not causing pain or spreading quickly she would rather wait for them to fall out on their own.

I would definitely get a second opinion about Kevin's teeth! Sending lots of hugs...I understand the stress!

Kelli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenn said...

Don't let that woman make you feel guilty! It is your son's God given right to breastfeed, nor is it unhealthy. What's more, he will not nurse forever, it's such a short sweet period of their life. I am so grateful that baby teeth fall out and permanent ones come in after the nursing stage is over!! Our Father is so wise in his provisions/creation!

Kathi said...

Oh Julieann, That dentist is MEAN!
You are the best mother out there. You are so consciencous of your babies. My children didn't even see the dentist until they were 3 and a half. I think it's genetics. My kids all have good teeth from their daddy. Me, on the other hand, ew, I have not so great teeth. I get a cavity every time I go in. Oh well, I'm thankful I live in the 21st century. Hugs, Kathi

Anonymous said...

My son went through this at about 2 years old. I noticed that there was some discoloration along the gum line on his top front teeth. The first dentist insisted that I stop nursing immediately and that my son would be strapped down to the chair to have the work done to fix the teeth. The real kicker was that we were told that to schedule that appointment, we had to pay 50% up front. The fee would be $2600! We ended up at another dentist who did do the work when he was a little older. I did continue to nurse him until he was a little over 2 1/2. He is 7now and is just starting to trust dentists again. He has one cavity that needs to be filled and I am waiting. It was actually found last year and I was told that it isn't any worse than it was back then. Anyway, my son used to walk around with a toothbrush all the time when he was little. Now we fight sometimes to get him to brush. I have three boys and one doesn't brush unless we practically tie him down and force him. He got his first filling this year he will be 11 in 2 weeks) in an adult tooth that was sealed when he was about 7. Go figure. You do the right thing and seal the adult molars after they come in as recommended and the seal fails. It somehow lifted a little and a small cavity formed underneath. So, no guarnatees ever. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are doing everything right. Sometimes we just can't predict how things will turn out.

As for the peanut allergy, two of my 3 kids are allergic. The oldest (one of a set of twins) had an anaphylactic reaction at the age of 2. It was scary as heck and I never want to experience it again. He now carried his own EpiPen in school and reads labels carefully. He sits at a peanut free table. His twin is NOT allergic. They are fraternal. My 7 year old is also allergice. We had him tesed when he was an infant and had some otehr allergic stuff going on. He testerd negative. His allergies as a whle are horrible and we had blood IGE testing done last year. They found that he is moderately allergice to peanuts. We have an EpiPen Jr for him and he also sits at the peanut free table. Basedon his reaction, your doctor should be willing to prescribe an epipen jr as a precautionar measure. Can't ever be too careful. Continue to love and nurture all of your children in the usual manner. Everything will be just fine.

Brynna said...

Oh boy do I understand. My 2 year old had oral surgery in April and had to have 4 crowns on her top front teeth and 4 fillings in the only molars she had at the time (we thought those were going to be crowned too). She had to be put under as well (which was twice as frightening because she'd already been put under at 9 months old for a different surgery).

We brush SO well, have a very healthy dental routine, and eat healthy. Thankfully the dentist only once mentioned breastfeeding...but our case is very obviously genetic. However, I know that because of that, night nursing certainly didn't HELP. So we're already planning on nightweaning our future kiddos shortly after 1 year to help the cause. Here's my blog post about it....
And if you search for "dentist" on my blog the rest will come up.

It was a very trying experience and it makes me sick to this day that my baby had to go through that stuff. :( BUT...things are looking much better now. We go back to the dentist to have him check things out on Monday, and I'm already using Spiffies xylitol wipes on my 4 month olds gums until she gets teeth to brush. So hopefully we're able to ward off any future problems.