Does Breastfeeding Have an Impact on Teeth?
Breastfeeding or not to breastfeed is a decision that new mothers must make early in their parenting journey. This is an extremely personal choice, and you may have already begun to assess the benefits and drawbacks of nursing. Even though nursing is beneficial to both mom and baby, it is not for everyone, and that’s okay! While studies suggest that nursing can boost a baby’s immune system and reduce the incidence of asthma, SIDS, and asthma, we want you to know that breastfeeding can also harm your baby’s teeth.
Breastfeeding and the Development of the Bite
When newborns are born, they immediately begin to grow. They also begin to grow teeth. While these little teeth may not be apparent right away, tooth development begins at a young age, and there are a number of factors that can influence how teeth emerge in the mouth and, as a result, how a baby’s bite develops. Bottles, pacifiers, and thumb-sucking are all common baby items that might alter the natural contour of a bite. Breastfeeding rather than bottle-feeding, on the other hand, may help lessen the chance of this disturbance and allow the bite to grow as nature intended. In fact, research reveals that kids who were nursed for the first six months had a lower risk of developing bite alignment issues including overbites and crossbites than babies who were not breastfed or just breastfed for a short time. Breastfeeding alone, however, will not eliminate all bite difficulties, as pacifiers, thumb-sucking, and even genetics can all play a role in bite development.
Decay of Baby Bottles
Baby bottle decay is a prevalent problem that affects the teeth of infants and toddlers. This childhood issue is exactly what it sounds like: tooth decay induced by bottle drinking. However, it is often what is inside the bottle that causes rot, not the bottle itself. Sugar is commonly found in foods such as milk, formula, and juice, and as everyone knows, sugar does not agree with your pediatric dentist on Long Island. Is this, however, a guarantee that bottle-fed newborns will develop baby bottle decay? Certainly not. Long-term consumption of sugary beverages is the issue. Avoid giving your child anything other than water in their bottle at night, nap time, or when they will be allowed to drink from it for an extended length of time to help lessen the chance of baby bottle rot. Breastfed babies also have a lesser risk of acquiring baby bottle rot because they don’t have the opportunity to suckle a bottle all night.
Cavities and Breastfeeding
It’s crucial to understand that, while breastfeeding may lower the risk of tooth decay, cavities can still occur. Breastmilk, like cow’s milk and infant formula, contains sugar, but breastfed babies’ exposure to these sugars is more controlled and limited because they are only consumed during feeding time. As a result, the risk of tooth decay and cavities is minimized.
While you consider whether or not breastfeeding is best for you, keep in mind that regardless of your decision, it’s critical to begin caring for your baby’s dental health as soon as possible. To do so, gently brush a damp towel over your child’s gums after each feeding to assist remove any sweets that may have gotten stuck there. Also, by the time your infant turns one, book an appointment with your pediatric dentist in Long Island and return every six months. These early dental visits can help your child become acquainted with the dentist as well as good oral health habits early in life, ensuring a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.