We had struggled with the decisions of Ada’s dental work, worrying about the nickel and aluminum in stainless steel crowns, which are highly pushed by mainstream pediatric dentists and sealents, made of plastics containing BPA sometimes.
Ada’s dentist seemed to get aggravated by our pushing and prodding about using a ceramic crown made for children by narrowing her eyes and saying “If studies backed up that those worked we’d use them.”
But on the day of the surgery I tried to smooth it over and told her we trusted her judgement and were just very cautious parents with a child with an autoimmune disorder (gee makes it sound so official). We are trusting her with our child’s health and I didn’t want the relationship to be antagonistic. The truth is we would be just as questioning and anxious with Azita or any other child.
She called us during the surgery and I wasn’t prepared for waht she was going to ask. She said she was in disbelief at how much more Ada’s teeth had decayed since the month before when she saw her and that, in the front three teeth, stainless steel crowns weren’t even possible because the teeth didn’t have enough to attach a crown to. Did I want her to pull them or attempt to reconstruct them with resin.
I told her my main concern was if Ada was in pain. If she thought there was any chance that rebuilding them would leave the nerve close enough for her to eventually be in pain, to pull them, but that truth be told, I’d rather her still have some teeth than none. It wouldn’t affect her speech, it’s just cosmetic. I kind of hate to admit that.
I was more stressed the entire time after that wondering how bad her dental work was really going to be.
Her teeth look beautiful though, and I’m glad we did it. The dentist decided to do root canals to completely take care of the concern about pain. It just means there isn’t much rooting the rebuilt resin teeth in place, and we have to really hope she doesn’t smack her teeth against the floor or fireplace. They will fall out.
So she ended up with three root canals, two stainless steel crowns, and at least fillings I believe. Sigh.
The dentist began hinting at breastfeeding and “dietery” concerns that we will discuss Monday. She said that as long as Ada is allowed to “eat whatever she wants”– and her meaning was clearly pointing to night nursing– we would have to worry about this stuff.
Sigh. That is so not true. Breastfeeding is not at all like bottle mouth, where the teeth are constantly washed in milk or juice sugars. And breastmilk is non-careogenic. With a bottle given at night, the liquid can pool in the front of the mouth, with the teeth. With breastfeeding, the nipple is far back into the child’s throat, not bathing the teeth in liquid. And the milk comes in and then wanes, so that a child is often engaging in non-nutritive sucking to help them settle into sleep. This means that the milk is hardly there. Again, not so with a bottle.
Besides the study in which researchers soaked baby teeth in cow’s milk and breastmilk for 6 months. The cow’s milk decayed the teeth while the breastmilk did not, even after so many months.
The huge caveat to that is that when cracker crumbs were placed on the teeth and then soaked in breastmilk, the teeth decayed very rapidly.
So night nursing is perfectly natural, evolutionarily normal, and harmless to teeth IF they are not covered in food already. You need to brush them well before you night nurse. And then dentists need to stop blaming breastfeeding for yet another thing.
It’s a good thing Ada is my second child. Had she been my first, I would be wracked with guilt, thinking I’d done something wrong. But I nursed Azita the exact same way, and her teeth are perfect, which even the dentist can’t deny. She said, “Well every child is diferent.”
I guess I’ll have to point out to her that the biggest different between the children is Ada’s exaggerated response to gluten. And the weeks before the surgery, I’d been feeding her all kinds of cross-contaminated-with-wheat-at-the-factory gluten-free types of snacks. Alot more carbs than usual, alot more traces of gluten than usual.
I want to help educate the dentist on the truth of the risks for breastfeeding at night though I don’t think it will help. Maybe the next mom might have more encouragement if I do. I used to get quite nervous at the thought of confronting doctors with the research I’d done that didn’t agree with their own opinion, starting when I was pregnant the first time and told my first OB (who I only saw once) that I didn’t want to be unnecessarily induced and she snapped back at me.
They get threatened. It’s annoying.
I guess I will print out some of the studies found here:
I’ll write about the endoscopy tomorroe.