Myths About Breastfeeding & How Your Dentist Can Help

November 30, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — kidsdentistry @ 10:41 pm
person holding newborn

Breastfeeding can be a sweet bonding experience with your newborn, but numerous new mothers face challenges. Whether the baby seems perpetually unsatisfied or the mother feels too uncomfortable to continue, there are signs that something might be wrong. Often, the issue lies in the baby having a tongue tie or another oral problem. Unfortunately, when seeking help, some mothers are told that breastfeeding discomfort is normal or that they just need to tough it out. This response overlooks the possibility of a genuine problem, but a dentist might offer assistance. Read on to discover two myths about breastfeeding that can be counterproductive.

Myth #1: Breastfeeding is Supposed to Hurt

The notion that breastfeeding is meant to be painful has instilled fear, guilt, and shame in the hearts of numerous new mothers navigating the challenges of caring for their newborns. Although some initial tenderness is expected as you and your baby adapt, continuous or prolonged pain may indicate a more significant issue. A potential cause could be your baby’s difficulty latching due to a lip or tongue tie, for instance.

Myth #2: Dry, Cracked, or Bleeding Nipples are Normal

Many new mothers are often told that it’s typical for their nipples to dry to the extent of cracking and bleeding. Fortunately, this is not accurate. Alongside enduring throbbing, it serves as another indication that something isn’t right. If your baby is struggling due to an improper latch, they might attempt to compensate by sucking harder, contributing to added tension and exacerbating the problem.

How Your Dentist Can Help

If your baby struggles with latching, a pediatric dentist may be able to address the issue. They will assess your newborn to identify signs of:

  • A tongue tie – This occurs when the underside of the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth by a thin membrane known as the frenulum.
  • A maxillary lip-tie – This involves the presence of tissue remnants between your child’s upper lip, which can disrupt normal functionality.

Your pediatric dentist can address these concerns through a procedure known as a frenectomy. This involves using a soft tissue laser to correct the frenulum, which restricts movement in your child’s mouth. The procedure is swift and generally pain-free as it vaporizes unnecessary tissue instead of cutting it. Any postoperative discomfort is typically minimal and lasts only a few hours.

Additionally, an inability to nurse can lead to health conditions, such as malnourishment. So, if you and your baby are having this issue, be sure to reach out to a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. With their help, you and your newborn will soon be enjoying a much more natural nursing experience!

About the Practice

Dr. Homer Sedighi and Dr. Jessica Martin are dedicated to instilling in children the understanding that dentistry is a welcoming and non-frightening experience. They offer a comprehensive array of dental services tailored to meet the oral healthcare needs of children at every developmental stage, from newborns to teenagers. For additional details on their pediatric dental services or to arrange a consultation with Dr. Sedighi or Dr. Martin, please visit their website or reach out to their office at (636) 777-7777.

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