There are so many things here that I have mixed feelings about.
The dentists say that babies should come in as soon as they get their first tooth, our pediatrician said we could wait till he was 3 or 4- kind of crazy with the mixed messages. I decided to bring him in because I noticed plaque on his teeth and he's ground them hard enough to chip two of them- seemed like a good time to see a professional.
I was really pleased to be able to take him to the same pediatric dentist that I saw for almost all of my childhood (I have good teeth and no traumatic dentist memories).
Talking fluoride, toothpaste, and "nursing habits" left me feeling a bit unsure though. I know that fluoride is beneficial to kids under 7 or 8, but that it is also terrible if you get too much. Since 5 still swallows all his toothpaste we use fluoride-free stuff. Besides, we live in a city with fluoridated water. The dentist recommended we start using fluoride toothpaste though, even though he's going to swallow that. Just not sure how I feel about that.
We also use hippie toothpaste that doesn't have harsh abrasives in it (like the sodium laurel/laureth sulfides) because that stuff in nasty. But. I'm also noticing that it can be difficult to get all the plaque off of his teeth when we brush. Hmmm.
Lastly, the dentist said that I should wipe his teeth off after he nurses. Every time. Even when he's (and I'm) sleeping. Now, I'm not a lactation consultant, but I'm not sure how the breast milk gets on his teeth. I've seen the diagrams, that stuff barely hits his mouth at all. Just kind of confused about that whole thing.
So, all you mamas and other protectors of children's teeth- how do you navigate these waters? What worked for you? What didn't? Thanks!