Breastfeeding encourages good oral development in babies. Nursing isn’t for everyone, but according to MouthHealthy.org, mothers who choose to nurse can provide their children with benefits for both their teeth and their developing bodies.
When babies are breastfed, they are:
- 72% less likely to have “baby bottle tooth rot,” a dangerous disorder associated with sleeping with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
- 72% less likely to have crooked teeth, due to how the infant latches during nursing and the way it shapes their jaw growth.
Aside from the dental advantages, breastfed infants have been shown to experience fewer difficulties related to:
- Ear Infections
Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to nourish newborns, and it will not cause cavities. However, when children get older and expand their diet to include more solid foods, experts advise parents limit their toddler’s meals and snacks to five times per day, whether or not they continue breastfeeding.
Additionally, oral hygiene is essential for all babies, regardless of age. You should start getting your infant used to having a clean cloth swabbed on their gums after feedings as soon as possible. Once the first tooth appears, it is time to begin brushing and make your child’s first dental appointment.
Ways Toddlers Are Affected
- Older toddlers who nurse are more likely to want to be fed at any time of the day, possibly more frequently than necessary. This can lead to frequent snacking which has been associated with increased risk of cavities.
- More frequent breastfeeding routines make it harder to keep your toddlers’ teeth clean.
- Children who were frequently fed on demand were more inclined to eat at night, when saliva flow is reduced, which can affect bacteria levels. Some of the more harmful bacteria in our mouth can flourish if they are fed during the low saliva periods of our day. This could raise your child’s risk of gingivitis and cavities.
Schedule a Consultation
Talk with the team at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan for tips related to caring for a baby’s smile. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with you and your little ones to keep their teeth in the best shape possible.