Breastfeeding and dentistry?
What do teeth have to do with breastfeeding?
This week on the podcast Barbara and Barb discuss breastfeeding and dentistry. Is there any truth to the idea that breastfeeding causes cavities?
There was a recent study that found babies who had been breastfed for more than 6 months had more cavities than the babies who were not breastfed for at least 6 months. Sadly, they did not sort for family history of strep mutans, the most common cause of cavities, or consumption of sugar, the next most important factor in causing cavities.
Breastfeeding is commonly blamed if a baby ends up with cavities. However, breastfeeding is also good for teeth! The breastmilk deposits calcium on teeth and has healthy probiotics that support good dental health. As opposed to bottle feeding at night, if an infant is not actively sucking AND swallowing, milk does not pool in the infant’s mouth. Leaving a bottle in with a baby at night encourages bottle mouth, this is when a baby keeps a bottle in their mouth once they have drifted off to sleep. The bottle slowly continues to drip into the baby’s mouth, causing the sugary formula to pool in the baby’s mouth and onto their teeth. Remember, high fructose corn syrup the the first ingredient of most formulas. This can cause a scary amount of tooth decay.
Remember as well, that breastfeeding causes your baby’s palate to expand which leads to proper oral facial development. This can result in needing less orthodontic work later! A huge money saver. Listen to the podcast to see what my case study of two has yielded!
We do highly recommend that once your baby’s teeth emerge that you wipe them with a soft cloth twice a day. It is also recommended that you see a dentist at 1 year of age. If you feel this is too early, at least keep an eye on your baby’s new teeth. If you see any spots or shadows, please see your dentist right away!
For more information see:
Breastfeeding and dental caries: No Connection
How to reduce the incidence of passing strep mutans to your baby
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