Breastfeeding Can Impact Your Child’s Oral Health

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You likely know how excellent breast feeding can be for your baby. It helps him or her fight infection as well as reduces health risks such as asthma, ear infections, SIDS or obesity. It is even linked to your own physical health; if you can breastfeed, your chances of breast and ovarian cancer are reduced. What may be the most surprising to you is how it can impact your child’s oral health.

Recent studies have reported that babies who were exclusively breastfed in the first six months of their life were less likely to have teeth alignment issues than those who were breastfed less than that or not at all. Of course, there are other factors, such as pacifier use, thumbsucking and genetics, but it helps to know that whether you breastfeed makes a difference in this way.

Breastfeeding can also lower your little one’s risk of baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay is named such because of the tendency for parents to send children to bed with sugary drinks, milk or formula. Your child can still get cavities from breastfeeding, as breast milk contains sugar. You can help prevent this from happening by wiping your child’s gums with a clean, wet washcloth every day, and brushing their teeth with water twice a day as soon as their teeth start to erupt above the gumline.

Would you like to learn more about how to care for your child’s oral health? One thing you can do is bring your baby into Dr. Edward Perdue Pediatric Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee for a checkup as soon as they turn one year old. Dr. Ed Perdue and our friendly staff look forward to meeting you. Give us a call at 615-662-2191.