If you’re pregnant or have ever had a baby, there’s no doubt you know some of the benefits of breastfeeding. But, did you know that that the long list to the benefits of breastfeeding includes a few for your baby’s oral health? It’s true and what better time to tell you about them than during Breast Feeding Awareness Month!
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Research has shown a lengthy list of the benefits of breastfeeding for the first six months, including less likelihood of ear infections and childhood obesity, as well as better digestion and intelligence. The benefits of breastfeeding aren’t just for baby, but extend to mom as well! Breastfeeding shrinks the uterus, reduces cancer odds and of course helps moms bond with their baby.
But how do the benefits of breastfeeding of breastfeeding help your baby’s oral health? Here are a few of the ways.
Benefits of Breastfeeding On Your Baby’s Oral Health
Breast milk is more digestible than cow’s milk or formula for babies, making the nutrients useable and digestion better, including helping pass the baby’s first intestinal “goo” known as meconium. More importantly, healthy nutrition is foundational in bone and tooth growth.
According to a 2017 study reported in Journal of the American Dental Association, breastfed babies weren’t as likely to have teeth alignment issues. However, breastfed babies may still require orthodontics, as breastfeeding is not the only factor that contributes to misaligned teeth. .
When a baby sucks on a bottle of juice, milk or formula for long amounts of time, they can develop baby bottle tooth decay, often on the upper front teeth. Because breastfed babies have limited or no baby bottle exposure, they typically don’t get this type of tooth decay.
But, cavities in baby teeth are still possible, whether you bottle or breast feed. As soon as teeth erupt, you should “brush” them- whether wiping them with a cool washcloth or using a small toothbrush with a rice grain size of fluoride toothpaste. It is also recommended that your child has their first visit to see your dentist some time between the eruption of teeth and your baby’s first birthday.
Ready to schedule your baby’s first dental exam? Have questions about your child’s oral health and how breastfeeding makes an impact? Contact a PERFECT TEETH dentist today online.