There are all sorts of different decisions to be made as a parent, including whether you opt for breastfeeding, formula, or a combination of the two. If you choose to do so, there are countless benefits of breastfeeding your baby. In fact, breastfeeding can help to protect them against short and long-term illnesses and diseases. Continue reading to find out some interesting oral health facts that nursing moms should be aware of.
Nursing May Help a Baby’s Bite Development
According to some recent studies, including in an issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, it has been found that babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their life were less likely to develop bite misalignment when they got older. Of course, genetics and many other factors play a role as well. It’s recommended that parents bring their child to the dentist for regular checkups starting when they turn one or when their first tooth erupts. This way, their dentist can monitor their smile to ensure healthy development.
Tooth Eruption Doesn’t Mean That You Need to Wean
While many mothers choose to wean their baby at this time, you don’t need to stop breastfeeding your child when their teeth erupt if you don’t want to. Instead, you should stop breastfeeding when you believe it’s best for you and your child.
It Is Safe to Go to the Dentist When You’re Nursing
It is perfectly safe and recommended that you continue seeking dental treatment for yourself when you are both pregnant and nursing. Just be sure to let your dental team know. This way, if you need a dental procedure that requires medication, your dentist can ensure they are prescribing something that is safe for both you and your baby.
Breastfed Babies CAN Get Cavities
Even though breastmilk is natural, it still contains sugar. Whether you decide to breastfeed, feed your child formula, or a combination of the two, it’s still important that you begin taking steps to clean your baby’s smile. A good place to start is by wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist washcloth after each feeding. Once their first tooth emerges, start brushing their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush with no more than a rice grain-sized amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste.
There is a lot to know when it comes to nursing, but these facts can ensure that you can stay well-informed about the well-being of you and your child.
About the Author
Dr. Layne Benzley earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Iowa and his pediatric dental specialty certificate from the Eastman Dental Center at the University of Rochester. Dr. Benzley has successfully completed all the requirements to be certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is a father himself to four young children. For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child at his office in Castle Rock, visit his website or call (303) 660-5373.