I Spoke to “The Doctors” — Dr. Travis Stork & Dr. Sears

by Dagmar Bleasdale on August 26, 2009

Dr. Travis Stork

I was invited by Rolemommy.com and CBS Television to participate in a conference call with Dr. Travis Stork (remember him from “The Bachelor”?) and pediatrician Dr. James “Jim” Sears today.

What an honor since his The Baby Book and his parent’s The Breastfeeding Book and The Attachment Parenting Book are some of my absolute favorite!

Dr. Sears and Dr. Stork are part of a team of four doctors discussing medicine and health in a relatable fashion five days a week on CBS’s “The Doctors.” I was able to listen in on questions by other mom bloggers and ask them two questions myself.

Copy of Jim Hallway_036 finout

My first question was about Landon’s teeth being so prone to cavities. I read about remineralizing teeth with cod liver oil, and Dr. Sears thought it might be hard to get a little child to take it, but he said he knows that there are fish oils supplements one can buy that are specifically made for children, like Go Fish (which he actually helped develop).

He said they are made to taste like strawberry so kids will take them. He did mention that he hears many other doctors blame nursing, in particular night nursing, for cavities, but that he believes in the anti-cavity agents in breast milk.

Breastfeeding, in his opinion and experience, doesn’t cause cavities. I was glad to hear a doctor say this, especially one held in such high regard by thousands of parents, since I have run into several dentists who want to blame L’s cavities on nursing.

He said that the more important teeth are obviously L’s second teeth, which are forming right now, and that fluoride is essential for them. We also talked about high-vitamin butter, which I read can also aid in remineralizing teeth, and Dr. Sear said he has seen it, but Dr. Travis has no experience with it.

Dr. Travis mentioned the importance of three servings of food that have calcium and cautioned to buy every product that has added vitamins — they might not be as valuable as you think.

My second question was about when to take a healthy child to his or her first hearing test. Dr. Sear asked me if L. has had many ear infections, and I told him that he has never had one, due in large part, I believe, to his extended breastfeeding.

Dr. Sear agreed that breastfed children have less ear infections than formula-fed children. He said he knows of a very good pediatric eye doctor in his area who tells him that he likes to see children earlier than most people think, maybe at age four when children can cooperate and express what they can hear.

I then asked him about the best age for the first eye doctor appointment. He asked me when I got glasses, and he thought at around 20 was pretty early, so I guess you take into consideration the history of the parents. He said around four years old would be good as well for that first eye doctor visit.

I was exiting to get to talk to “The Doctors” in person and listen to their answers about a whole host of other questions. Dr. Stork, who is a faculty physician and instructor in the Emergency Department at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, said his celebrity is often what eases his patient’s minds when they see him in stressful situations in the ER.

And Dr. Sears — who runs a practice in Orange County, CA, alongside his famous father and brother, both renowned doctors — explained that although more people are now interested in having him as their doctor, his practice is in a less populated part of Orange County and that it doesn’t get too crazy. He is employing a few more physicians to keep up with the practice’s workload while he is away for the show’s taping.

One more important point Dr. Sears made is how impossible it is nowadays to get healthy food when you are eating out and about parents being role models when it comes to healthy eating.

If parents don’t buy fast food or processed food, children have no access to it and won’t eat it, which is important to note in this age of childhood obesity.

Dr. Travis said that fast-food companies have become very good at making food taste good that has no nutritional value.

He also mentioned that Dr. Sear is doing a great job on the show when he takes families to the supermarket and showing them how they need to shop to eat healthy.

Thanks, Dr. Stork and Dr. Sears, for answering my questions! Season 2 of the Emmy-nominated series “The Doctors” will premier on Monday, September 7. Check out the new episodes, I’m always amazed how much I learn.

(This is not a transcript of my conversation with Dr. Sears and Dr. Stork, just a post about my recollection of our conversation).

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Joyce June 19, 2010 at 5:58 AM

Hello! I just wanted to say your website is one of the nicely laid out, most inspirational I’ve come across in quite a while. Thx! :)


Health Nutrition Expert April 7, 2010 at 12:40 AM

Very interesting post, I really enjoyed reading it – thank you for the information.
Health Nutrition Expert´s last blog ..The Fundamentals Of Optimum Health Nutrition


Lisa September 16, 2009 at 12:50 AM

I completely disagree about the fluoride & it really angers me how many people still believe the lies. The fluoride in water is a toxic byproduct of manufacturing pesticides. Even if it did anything for teeth to drink (it doesn’t, fluoride only works *topically*), the other chemicals it comes with are not worth the risk. If you have local naturally fluoridated water (calcium fluoride), it actually is healthy, but most water is chemical fluoride (sodium fluoride or silicofluoride). For more info about the dangers of fluoride, here’s a place to start http://www.fluoridealert.org/fluoridation.htm#1


Katie - PeanutSprout September 11, 2009 at 5:46 AM

Love reading what Dr. Sears had to say about breastfeeding and cavities. Thanks for sharing this.


Melodie August 28, 2009 at 10:32 PM

Super cool, Dagmar, and timely too. I just had a friend who emailed me this morning recounting an awful experience she had with a doctor who told her she was breastfeeding her 15 mo too much and that her teeth were going to fall out! Yuck! I despise doctor’s ignorance!


Firefly August 27, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Awesome interview :) my daughter never had an ear infection. I’m very happy because of that! Also at her dentist appointment last month everything was perfect. At 4 she has no cavities.
I think breastfeeding was a big part of this :)


julie August 27, 2009 at 12:48 AM

How fantastic Dagmar! There is so much misinformation out there about breastfeeding and cavities. I’m so glad to have this post to refer people to with such good advice from respected and well known Drs.


Karen Angstadt August 26, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Very cool Dagmar!

Always good to hear reassurance about the benefits of breastfeeding on developing teeth. My dentist praises extended nursing for the benefits to healthy body and healthier teeth.

He advised us to NOT share utensils with our kids because we introduce bacteria into our children’s mouths from our own. So that was news to me for cavity prevention. Don’t share food, forks, etc, but definitely keep nursing says my doc and dentist.


Raelee August 26, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Wow! What an exciting honor, Dagmar. My sister was told that her nursing caused both of her children’s cavities. She would be so interested to hear that nursing was not the culprit afterall. Thanks for sharing your questions and answers! AND congratulations for getting on such a great call.


Sharon Stone August 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Dagmar- That is really cool! I’m so glad that you asked about the cavities. Most dentists, except for mine, seem to agree that breastfeeding does not cause cavities. We just had Sander in for extensive dental work, including crowns on his front teeth, fillings in his newly emerging molar, and a baby root canal in one of his front teeth. At this point, I’m just hoping that the adult teeth come in well in a few years, and that he keeps his teeth until then.


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