Breastfeeding: Things Nursing Moms Should Know about Dental Health

Posted on: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

If you have a baby on the way, you likely have many choices to make and projects to complete before your due date arrives. Will you return to work after six weeks? What daycare will you use? Is that older car seat still safe to use? Will you breastfeed or bottle feed? As you make decisions and get yourself ready for a new member of the family, accurate information can make all the difference. For breastfeeding in particular, there are a number of oral health benefits to you and your baby if you opt to nurse your newborn.

Breastfeeding Encourages Healthy Little Mouths

Recent research has shown that breastfed babies generally have healthier teeth when they begin to grow in. One study even discovered that babies breastfed for at least six months were more than 70 percent less likely to have crooked teeth in the future. This minimizes the chances of your child coping with an overbite, crossbite, or open bite down the road. Furthermore, breastfeeding also reduces the risk of tooth decay that is commonly brought on when a child goes to bed with a bottle.

New Teeth Aren’t a Deal Breaker For Nursing

There’s a common misconception that breastfeeding cannot continue when your baby’s teeth begin to grow in, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, most children are so used to breastfeeding with nothing but bare gums that when their teeth do grow in, they don’t even try to bite down. If the idea of breastfeeding your baby with teeth makes you nervous, there are countless breastfeeding support resources available online and through your doctor so you can learn from other mothers and make the decision that is best for you and your baby.

Remember That Breast Milk Still Contains Sugar

Breast milk is the single best way to nourish your baby throughout his or her first year or two of life, but despite its healthy benefits, breast milk does still contain sugar. This sugar can threaten the health of your baby’s teeth unless you take certain precautions. From the time that your baby is a few days old, wipe his or her gums with a clean washcloth each day, and once teeth form, brush them twice a day with a tiny amount of flouride free toothpaste.

When it comes to the dental health of your baby, a bit of prevention goes a long way!

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