Breastfeeding may help develop straighter teeth
Breastfeeding is one of the best decisions you can make for your baby right after birth. While you may be aware of this statement and nurse for the nutritional and immune benefits, you may not be aware of the impact nursing has on your child’s teeth. Breastfeeding, in fact, has recently been suggested by an Australian study as a way to promote healthy tooth alignment.
What the experts say
Researchers evaluated 1,300 children over the course of five years and reported their findings in the July edition of Pediatrics. At 3, 12, and 24 months, these children’s teeth were examined for signs of malocclusion, and at 5 years old, their teeth were assessed for signs of malocclusion.
The results of this study revealed that children who were exclusively or primarily breastfed had much reduced moderate to severe misalignment, overbite, and open bite difficulties. These findings support the World Health Organization’s recommendation to exclusively breastfeed a kid until he or she reaches the age of six months. The usage of pacifiers, however, appeared to alter the association, according to the study.
This study adds to previous research that shows that exclusively breastfeeding reduces the risk of malocclusions regardless of whether or not pacifiers are used, whereas the effects of predominant breastfeeding in which other foods or beverages are introduced are dependent on how long pacifiers are used.
It’s also worth noting that breastfeeding should only be one part of maintaining your child’s dental and oral health. You’ll need to take precautions to avoid baby bottle tooth decay and to properly clean his mouth. You can clean and massage the gums with a moist towel before your baby has teeth, and your dental hygiene efforts will progress when your child’s baby teeth grow in.
If you have any further concerns about how to keep your child’s teeth healthy and straight, please call our office.