Breastfeeding and Dental Health

pediatric dentist Georgetown KY - Breastfeeding and Dental HealthThere are so many benefits to breastfeeding your newborn baby. It enables your baby to fight off infections. Breastfeeding also helps to ward off a number of health risks that include ear infections, pediatric obesity, and asthma. You may be surprised to find out that mothers who breastfeed also benefit. A nursing mother reduces her chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer. Breastfeeding could also affect your dental health. The experts at ThoroughDent Smiles, a dental office in Georgetown, KY, share some interesting facts about breastfeeding and dental health.

Breastfeeding Could Help Create a Better Bite

The best dentist in Georgetown, KY, highlights a few recent studies about breastfeeding and dental health. One study published in 2015 in the journal Pediatrics, found that babies that were exclusively breastfed in their first six months of life had a reduced chance of developing alignment issues, such as crossbites, overbites, and open bites when compared to those who weren’t exclusively breastfed.

However, Dr. Kristina Neda, a Georgetown KY dentist, adds that there is still a possibility that babies who are breastfed develop bite issues. Many factors contribute to the development of those problems. For example, the use of a pacifier, genetics, and thumb sucking can all play a role in the onset of bite problems, so consult with your pediatric dentist in Georgetown KY regularly if you have any questions or concerns. Any issues observed will then be corrected at an early stage before they become more complex.

It’s Your Choice to Continue Breastfeeding 

Many first time mothers wonder whether they should stop breastfeeding once their babies start teething. The unequivocal answer is that a mother doesn’t have to stop if nothing else is stopping them from breastfeeding.

In fact, WHO (the World Health Organization) recommends that babies be breastfed until they are two years of age while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed for the first year of their life.

The best dentist in Georgetown, KY, advises that since no two mothers are alike, it is best to decide when to wean your baby at the time that you consider appropriate for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding Lowers the Possibility of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is tooth decay caused by sugary drinks. It is most common among babies who go to sleep with their feeding bottles. Georgetown KY pediatric dentists say when a baby is exclusively breastfed, there will be no need to use a feeding bottle, and so baby bottle tooth decay will be kept at bay.

Cavities Can Still Develop in Breastfed Babies

This may come as a surprise, but breastfeeding can also cause cavities since breast milk contains some sugar. For this reason, ThoroughDent Smiles, recommends that you exercise vigilance in taking care of your baby’s dental health. A few days after birth, use a moist washcloth or gauze pad to wipe the gums of your baby after feeding him or her. When baby teeth emerge, start brushing them twice a day using a pediatric toothpaste recommended by your pediatric dentist in Georgetown, KY. Remember to use a tiny amount of that toothpaste (no more than a smear) when brushing the baby’s teeth. 

Double Check Your Medication if You Need Any Dental Work Done

If you ever require any dental procedure to be done during the time that you are breastfeeding, let them know you are breastfeeding. If you still have doubts about the safety of a given medication, visit LactMed, a U.S. government library resource for nursing mothers, and type in the name of the medication.

Take Care of Yourself, Mom

You owe it to yourself and your baby to stay healthy. We understand that being a mother is a full-time job, but don’t forget to take some time for yourself here and there. If you have any questions about you or your baby’s oral health, contact ThoroughDent Smiles. Our experienced professionals are always happy to help.