This has been a very difficult subject. My daughter which is 22mnths old is still breastfeeding. I had to take her to the dentist due to her two front teeth have been damaged from antibiotics she had when she was in the hospital for 2mnths. She had the antibiotics for 48dys by a central line. I was told by the dentist that I needed to stop breastfeeding because it can cause her more damage, cavity and plaque in her teeth, and that any way the breastmilk does not do any effect after one year of age. Know I have done lots of breastfeeding research, what is up with people and being uncomfortable with freaking breastfeeding. I tried wheaning her off but is just bloody murder crying, I have seen her suffer enough. What is your opinion?

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Kinda funny, I was watching the Dr's on TV last week and someone asked Dr Sears a very similar question. The answer he gave was this: "Breastmilk contains antibodies that actually protect against tooth decay. By all means, continue breastfeeding until your child self-weans, or you're ready to stop." He also went on to say that most of the pediatric dentists he works with know the benefits of extended BF and encourage it. My personal opinion is follow your child's lead and go as long as she wants to as long as you're comfortable with it! :)
It sounds like you know better than to accept the "breast milk after a year is useless" line. Glad to hear that. And like the PP mentioned, breast milk *protects* teeth. Go ahead the let your daughter self wean! Every day she continues to BF is a day she will be healthier and happier for it :)
And for those reading who may not know:
On what planet is a dentist qualified to make statements about whether breast feeding is healthy for a child after a year??? They are her baby teeth and she is going to lose them anyhow. Not that it isn't important to take care if them, but they aren't not permanent. As a CLC I can tell you that you are dong her so much good by breastfeeding her and you should just keep it up. Go with your gut, even the "experts" don't always know everything.
I thank everyone for ther support and encouragement. As you all know it is sometimes hard to fight what you know you deep inside what is right. I tried for one day to whean her and I just could not bare seeing her cry and begging for it. Now that she is a bit older she even asks for it by saying please mommy. So she is still breastfeeding and maybe by the end of this year she will be ready. The dentist will just have to deal with it and I'm just brushing her teeth more for safety. She might have to put crowns or filling put in due to the damamge she has her tooth cracked in the middle, So for know she will get dentist care as she needs and hope for the best. We will continue to BREASTFEED.
It is perfectly okay to breastfed for as long as you feel comfortable despite society's discomfort with such a natural connection between mother and child. My son is 28 months and is still breastfeeding, but he's down to 1-3 times a day. Exclusively breastfed for 7 months he is now a very hearty eater. I was concerned about his teeth too, but they are fine. At his first visit, the dentist seemed amazed that I was still breastfeeding, almost as if I was harming my child. It make me a little mad that some doctors try to discourage the breast encouraging the bottle.
Hi Miriam,
This is Jennifer Ritchie. I am the owner of Milkalicious Breastfeeding Boutique, and a Certified Lactation Consultant. I have some information for you regarding the claims your dentist made. First off, lactose is the major sugar in mammalian milk and appears nowhere else in nature. It is the most constant of all of the constituents in human milk and remains consistent throughout the day despite dietary fluctuations. Lactose digests slowly, producing a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. Sucrose is the sugar often used in formulas, is sweeter and splits rapidly, resulting in a high peak of glucose in the infants bloodstream. Sucrose plays a significant role in tooth decay, whereas lactose DOES NOT (Erickson, 1999, 1998).

Doctors also used to think that the antibodies that come from a mothers breastmilk stop protecting the child after 6 months. This is old outdated information. The antibodies in your milk actually INCREASE the longer you breastfeed, and protects your child as long as you do so.

My advice, do what YOU want to do, and wean only when you and your daughter are ready. And you may want to find another dentist, that is a little more current on the research :)

Best Regards,
Thank you so much for your information. I'm hoping to get a second opinion, I'm still breastfeeding she only BF at night and on weekends occasional snacking. I'm being more concious about brushing her teeth more after meals but I'm definelty not going to ignore my mother instincts and desires to stop at this time. If I have to face another dentist or stick to the previous one atleast I have great information to educate those who are ignorant about breastmilk.
I think it is a sad world we live in when breastfeeding your baby, regardless of age, is viewed as abnormal, wrong, or harmful!
What a mis-informed dentist! I am glad you've gotten some educated replies about this. I'd just like to reach out and also say that you are doing the right thing. There is no reason to put your child through the trauma of forced weaning! I've been a member of a yahoo group that supports full-term breastfeeding, and a long time friend of mine there is a dental professional and has always assured us of the same facts that previous posters here have mentioned. My 19 month old is "still" breastfeeding, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
PS: If you'd like to join the group I mentioned, it is here:

The main purpose is support for breastfeeding past a year, but we talk about a ton of other things too, and tend towards the more natural-minded parenting choices, but have a wide variety of moms from all over the place!
So satisfying to see well educated, up to date professionals exist in your field. :) Thankyou for your comments.



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