New mothers who have chosen to nurse their baby often do so for several specific positive baby health reasons, and it’s important not to overlook oral health here as well. Even if you hadn’t realized it, there are several specific oral health benefits your baby receives if you choose to nurse them rather than bottle-feed them.
At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to provide numerous kids’ dental services in South Jordan, from cleanings and fluoride treatments through sedation dentistry, restorative care and even many emergency dental needs. We assist many new mothers with the oral health and maintenance of their new babies, including tips on the benefits of nursing for those who choose to breastfeed. Here are a couple of these primary benefits to consider, plus a quick important word on cavities in children.
Limited Misalignment Risks
To be clear, nursing a child does not completely remove the risk for eventual bite misalignment, plus resulting needs like braces or other dental devices. Especially if kids are given pacifiers, allowed to suck their tongue or even have a genetic predisposition to misaligned teeth, the chances of misalignment are still there regardless.
However, the risks here are simply far lower for babies who are nursed rather than bottle-fed. Among kids who are breastfed within the first six months of life, multiple areas of research have shown significant drops in the potential for overbite and other forms of misalignment compared to kids who were not breastfed.
Avoiding Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Another key benefit of breastfeeding is the way it allows you to avoid any risk of baby bottle tooth decay. This is a condition that sometimes exists in kids who are given a bottle of formula, milk, fruit juice or other substances with sugar before bed, then allowed to keep it during sleep – an issue that often results in harmful bacteria and acids building up in their mouth, eating away at tooth enamel and causing decay. This, in turn, leads to higher risk of cavities and other decay symptoms, including several years down the line.
On the flip side, breastfeeding avoids these risks entirely.
Cavities Still Possible
An important note for nursing mothers: The simple fact that you’re breastfeeding does not mean your child can’t get a cavity at any point. While their risks are much lower than kids who are given bottles, the potential for cavities still exists – especially if other parts of their oral care, including brushing, flossing and food selection, are not maintained. Child teeth should be cared for from the moment they erupt into the mouth, regardless of whether or not you’re nursing.
For more on the value of breastfeeding for oral health, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services in South Jordan, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.