July 16, 2010,
G.H. asks from Lynnwood, WA on July 15, 2010
14 Month Old with White and Yellow Stains on Teeth
I just noticed that my daughter, not quite 14 months old yet, has white stains on all four of her front teeth near the gum line and one tooth has a tiny yellowish spot on it and the backs of all four front teeth appear to have yellow spots on them as well, I really freaked out because it looks to me like decay but she has NEVER had even a sip of anything besides water and breast milk (from the source only) she has never even had a bottle or sippy cup of breast milk as I can't really pump and didn't ever leave her long enough to require bottles. I have been brushing her teeth since the first one came in at 4 months and I am devastated to think it could be decay...I thought I was taking really good care of her mouth. I've been reading a lot and hearing about decalcification as a possible cause instead of decay and she did have a fever of 105 for a while when these teeth were erupting. Does anyone have any similar experiences? My dentist office is closed until Monday and I'm kinda freaking out and need some reassurance.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for the response. I am doing a lot of internet research and no I do not give her fluoride drops. I am a pretty big advocate of natural living and the only way she could be getting fluoride is from our drinking water and I've checked the levels for Seattle and they aren't high. Also I've read that it could be a result of medication taken by her or by me during pregnancy and that can't be it either as she has NEVER taken anything, not even antibiotics and I haven't taken anything either, not during pregnancy or nursing. I even had a completely natural home birth with no meds at all. I actually got mastitis early on and managed to get rid of it without antibiotics. I'm completely baffled.
B.O. answers from Portland on July 15, 2010
My dentist and my midwife taught me that if a mama has a cavity or dental bacteria(maybe from an unseen cavity or abscess or gingivitis) while pregnant it will have passed to the fetus also. And, tooth care starts before the first tooth appears. My dentist and home health nurse also taught me to wipe my daughters gums with a warm washcloth after every feeding when she was an infant. I also only breast fed, and breast milk is just as sugary as other foods when it comes to dental care.
D.M. answers from Detroit on July 15, 2010
Hi G.---Do you give your daughter flouride drops? Stop immediately. Flouride can make those white spots on teeth, although I thought it happened later with the permanent teeth.
Enamel health can sometimes be poor even when a person takes really good care of the teeth. She may just have a body chemistry that creates a lot of plaque. My daughter has trouble with hers where her brothers do not, and I would bet $ she takes better care of her teeth than they do.
Do a bit of research on the internet until you can get to the dentist. Most likely it is nothing and will be taken care of easily with a dentist's care. Good luck. D.
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A.G. answers from Houston on July 15, 2010
my daughter has them too, its the beginning of milk carries (milk cavities) and im really troubled by them as well because i breast feed and cant give her water at night instead of milk......i wish i could fill my boobs up with water, because i am not ready to quit night feeding, not even close!, from the research i have done on the subject,( internet and library) and talking to dentists, the only way to stop it is caps, or bonding, and night feedings have to stop. It makes me so angry (at noone, just my dumb luck) that my baby daughter can be hurt by the great care i am giving her, but its true. All the love and best intentions cannot stop some things from happeneing, and i am haunted by unrealistic images of her little teeth rotting out.
I decided to wait till after the age of 2 when local anesthesia, and mood altering substances will have less negative effects on her, and will take her to the dentist then, until then, all i can do is keep them clean, and try to prevent the pooling of my milk on her gums at night.
hope this helps, take care
N.D. answers from Portland on July 16, 2010
my daughter has just been diagnosed with celiac's disease. she has always been prone to cavities and i understand that is common with CD. a slim possibility for you but thought i'd mention it since you're stumped.
L.H. answers from Seattle on July 16, 2010
My youngest not only hat some staining on her front teeth, but divots too. I also was freaking out. I took her to a pediatric dentist and he told me that something happened in utero and that is just how her baby teeth developed. He said it could have been medication that I took or something else completely random. He said we could fill and correct the problem but it sounded traumatic to her and it wasn't necessary. He told me to just keep an eye on them and if they seemed to get worse to bring her in, but other wise just wait for her baby teeth to fall out and hopefully the adult teeth would be fine. We kept an eye on them and as she grew, the problem lessoned so that it's hardly noticeable now. We are still waiting for the teeth to fall out though.
A.Z. answers from Portland on July 16, 2010
It could be calcification of the teeth (completely harmless, but permanent - with numerous causes) rather than decalcification. Either way I would take your child into a good pediatric dentist. As for breastmilk, it is a misconception that night-nursing will hurt your child. The way nursing happens, the milk goes to the back of the mouth. I have known many nursing mothers and many tooth issues are more genetically related than care related when having issues at very young ages.
Another issue that happens is the habit parents have of using their mouths to clean a dropped bottle or pacifier and then popping it in their baby's mouth. An adult has thousands of harmful strands of bacteria many of which a baby has been intimately exposed to. By sharing your bacteria, you are introducing bacteria that normally develops with older teeth and food consumption. This is believed by some to cause rot and decay.
To help balance out the bacteria in the mouth, stop sharing bottles, cups, pacifiers, etc. Make a paste of probiotics for babies or children and rub inside the mouth. Start using a toothbrush or washcloth to wash teeth and gums and don't forget the tongue! Restoring normal bacteria is relatively easy and may be a simple issue. But, above all, don't beat yourself up or feel at fault. Many times it's just luck of the draw in the genetic pool. All you can do is provide good care that treats your baby as needed.
I am glad to hear you are avoiding toxins like flouride and prescription drugs as these are many of the sources of decay.
D.N. answers from Chicago on July 15, 2010
As the other poster mentions, flouride drops can cause these stains. But my daughter is 11. She also has these types of stains. She did not have them on her baby teeth. I was worried that something was wrong. But the dentist said that this happens when the child is sick, especially with a fever, when the teeth are developing and coming in. Sounds like you fit the bill. The bad thing is that even if my d whitens her teeth, it will not completely take care of it and may not make any difference. When she is older--after braces and such--she may want to get veneers to improve the way they look. When that time comes, I will let her decide. You can take her to get looked at to make sure if you are worried.