How Can Breastfeeding Set My Child Up for Great Oral Health?

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — kidsdentistry @ 9:27 pm
Smiling baby

It seems that science just keeps discovering more ways in which breastfeeding is great for both the mother and the child. It’s long been known that breastfeeding allows a mother to supply her baby with what they need to fight infections, prevent SIDS, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues like asthma and obesity. It may also help nursing mothers lower their risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. As strange as it sounds, breastfeeding can also provide benefits for the child’s dental health. Here’s how breastfeeding may be a great dental decision.

Breastfeeding May Help Your Child’s Teeth Come in Straighter

Several studies have found that babies who were exclusively breastfed for their first six months were significantly less likely to develop alignment problems such as open bites, crossbites, and overbites than those who were breastfed for shorter times or not breastfed at all. This doesn’t mean that your child won’t need braces someday, as other factors such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, and genetics play a major part in determining alignment.

Breastfeeding Can Reduce the Risk of Children Developing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay can result from a baby’s teeth dealing with prolonged exposure to sugary drinks. This can result from a baby being put to bed with a bottle containing non-water liquids like milk, formula, or juice. As it turns out, breastfeeding can reduce the likelihood of baby bottle tooth decay developing, preventing cavities and keeping your child’s oral development on a healthier track.

It’s Also Important for Mom to Take Care of Herself

Pregnancy and caring for a new child can be exhausting tasks, but it’s crucial that the new mother takes care to keep herself healthy. All too often, the mother may fall into a habit of skipping brushings in the morning, at night, or for a whole day. Unfortunately, the germs that cause tooth decay and gum disease can easily be spread from mother to baby, as even things like sharing a spoon with an infant can pass oral bacteria to them. This means that she can’t skip oral hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, and using antibacterial mouthwash every day as well as keeping up with regular dental appointments.

About the Author

Dr. Homer Sedighi earned his dental doctorate at the Washington University School of Dental Medicine before completing a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry at the University of Rochester. He is a Licensed Pediatric Dentist and a proud member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. His office in Chesterfield, MO offers pediatric preventive and restorative dentistry as well as tooth extractions and athletic mouthguards. For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding for growing mouths, contact the office online or dial (636) 777-7777.

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