Breastfeeding is one of the significant decisions every mother should make. It is also one of the essential activities during infancy until childhood, as it creates a special bond between mother and child.
Breastfeeding and human milk are the ideal choices for every baby. The process of breastfeeding alone plays a significant role in a child’s health as it can help boost the immune system, balance nutrition, fight infections, and reduce the risk of allergies and chronic diseases. It is also beneficial to maternal health as it lowers the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, and better physiologic postpartum recovery.
While breastfeeding offers several great benefits, it also impacts the oral health of both mother and child. Here are the six things every nursing moms should know about dental health:
1. Breastfeeding may help build a better bite
According to the American Dental Association, it is found that babies who are breastfed for the first six months are less likely to have teeth alignment issues such as open bites or crossbites. It does not mean that your exclusively breastfed baby will not need braces someday. Still, every child is different, and other factors that affect teeth alignment are pacifier use, thumb-sucking, and genetics.
2. Breastmilk does not prevent cavities in babies.
Like formula milk, human milk also contains sugar that can cause cavities in the baby’s teeth. It is essential to care for your child’s mouth, starting infancy. Wipe the child’s mouth with a soft and wet cloth once a day, and once a tooth erupts, start brushing his or her teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
3. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of baby bottle tooth decay.
The prolonged exposure of baby’s teeth to drinks containing sugar increases their risk of having tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay often occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle with formula or fruit juice. This type of decay usually happens on the two front teeth.
4. You don’t have to wean when your baby gets teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of life. It is advised that the nursing mom stop breastfeeding when they think it is best for both mother and child, not just because the teeth come in.
5. Nursing moms should inform their dentists upon visit.
If you are planning on getting dental treatment, it is vital to inform your dentist that you are breastfeeding. Some medications can affect your milk supply and can also enter your baby’s body through breastfeeding.
6. Mothers are at considerable risk of gum disease and cavities.
Many factors may cause pregnant women to be at higher risk of gum disease, cavities, and calcium deprivation. These risk usually ends after birth as the mother’s body returns to normal. However, a new problem may arise if the mother cannot maintain the proper oral routine, such as brushing or flossing twice a day. Cavity prevention is particularly important for moms because sharing utensils with your child can transfer bacteria into the baby’s mouth.
Motherhood and breastfeeding is a tough time as a lot of responsibilities breaks over you. Both mother and child must be healthy in all aspects, including oral health.
We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.
You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.