Baby dental care is as important as our own dental care! Baby teeth, though they don’t stick around forever, help create a lifelong, healthy smile for your child.
Breastfeeding Over Two Years Can Lead to Cavities
Studies have proven that babies who were continuously breastfed for longer than two years had an increased risk of having dental cavities around 5 years of age. They actually had almost two-and-a-half times more risk for developing severe early childhood cavities than children who were breastfed for less than one year.
Researcher’s found, after 24 months of breastfeeding, a higher frequency of feedings also add to the child’s risk of developing severe early tooth decay.
How Does Breastfeeding Impact a Mother’s Dental Health?
Although breastfeeding does not have a substantial link to causing the mother to form cavities, dentists are finding pregnant women take less care of their teeth than they did before they were pregnant. Dr. Ruchi Sahota, mother and American Dental Association spokesperson, states that, “Moms are just not brushing as much as they used to, whether they’re brushing once a day or not brushing at all.” This can lead to cavities. Ensure you’re staying on top of your oral and overall health after your child is born. Avoid letting your dental care fall behind.
How Does Breastfeeding Impact a Baby’s Dental Health?
One of the most common risks for a baby’s oral health is “baby bottle tooth decay.” It can be caused by a few factors including “frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar.”
When a baby is put to bed with a bottle, or a bottle is used to pacify a fussy baby, the bottle often sits in the baby’s mouth. The long-term contact between the baby’s teeth and milk can causes cavities. When breastfeeding, the milk rarely comes in contact with the baby’s teeth. That’s why breast milk in a bottle can cause cavities but breastfeeding for the recommended amount of time does not. If your baby needs a bottle to sleep, try filling the bottle with water!
Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of baby bottle tooth decay, but it doesn’t entirely eliminate the risk of cavities. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of a baby’s life because of the nutrition it provides them.
Click here to learn about proper baby dental care. (Can this link go to our Tooth Truths for the month?) Learning how to prevent cavities, or dental caries, in children can help your child have good dental health for a lifetime to come. Click here to learn about going to the dentist by the age of one.