Breastfeeding and Dental Hygiene

Shot of a young woman breastfeeding her adorable baby girl on the sofa at home.
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Mothers go through a lot during breastfeeding period, apart from dealing with all the exhaustion that comes with postpartum, you also have to think of your child’s dental health. The question is, does breastfeeding help with infants dental health? But first we need to know why breastfeeding is important to your baby.

Breast milk isn’t just easier for your baby to digest, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); it’s also more readily accessible than a store-bought formula. In addition:

  • It needs no preparation
  • It contains all the nutrients an infant needs
  • It has many components that formula does not; breast milk helps to protect your baby from many diseases and infections
A mother breastfeeding her child

Journal of the American Dental Association August 2017 Issue, found that babies who were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months were less likely to have teeth alignment issues such as open bites, cross bites, and overbites, than those exclusively breast fed for shorter lengths of time or not at all.

Still Doctors do not rule out that your baby may need braces some day even when exclusively breastfed. There are other factors like use of pacifiers, thumb sucking and genetics which may also affect teeth alignment.

Breastfeeding also reduces risk of Tooth Decay

This type of tooth decay often occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle – even ones containing formula, milk or fruit juice. (Water is fine because the teeth won’t be bathed in sugary liquids for a prolonged time.) It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. By exclusively breastfeeding a mother can prevent decay caused by bottle feeding.

African young Mother breastfeeding her little baby in her arms.

 “The best thing for mom to do is to take the child to the dentist and make the dentist is able to monitor eruption, that baby teeth are coming out at the right time and permanent teeth are coming in at the right time.” says Dr. Ruchi Sahota, mother and American Dental Association spokesperson.

Dental Care for baby teeth and Gums

Dental care for baby teeth can start before your baby’s first tooth appears. Once your baby is about three months old, you can gently wipe your baby’s gums using a damp, clean face washer or gauze twice a day. This helps your baby get ready for brushing when the first tooth appears.

Moms, Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry mouth…

All moms need to stay hydrated, especially if breastfeeding. Not drinking enough water, that in itself is a very dangerous thing for a mother’s mouth. Dry mouth can put one at risk of gum disease, cavities among other dental issues.

We at Emerald also do encourage young mothers and their infants to start their dental check ups routine as early as when baby is still months old. This helps to keep baby’s and mother’s dental health in check.



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