Mothers must make one of the most intimate decisions once their baby is born and that is whether or not to breastfeed. There are many benefits of breastfeeding, but it can also impact the dental health of both the new baby and the new mom. Let’s take a look below.
Reduces the Risk of Bottle Tooth Decay
Breastfeeding eliminates the chances of bottle tooth decay, which often happens in children who drink bottles in their crib or play pen. Frequent and prolonged use of a baby bottle can cause serious tooth decay and lead to other dental problems later on in life when the permanent teeth start to come in.
Helps Build a Better Bite
Studies that have been conducted show that babies who breastfeed have a better bite than those babies who use bottles. In fact, breastfed babies were less likely to have crooked teeth, open bites, over bites, and cross bites.
This does not mean that your baby will not need some type of orthodontic intervention later on in life, but it will help to improve dental issues that can be caused from a bottle.
Weaning Does Not Need to Occur When the Teeth Come In
Many new moms think that they have to wean their babies when their teeth start to come in, but they do not. In fact, you do not have to wean until you are ready to do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend that a mom breastfeed for the first 12 months of the baby’s life and even encourages moms to head for two years.
It is a personal decision to wean your baby and it is one that you should make on your own. No one else should make this decision for you.
Check Your Medications
Before you take any medication, you need to check it first. Moms who breastfeed should never blindly take a medication because it can be passed on to your child through the milk. It is important that you read all information about the medication and talk to your doctor before you start a new routine of medicine.
It is safe for you to take some medications and you can still visit the dentist as you breastfeed, but never put something into your body unless you are sure it is safe for your child as well.
Breastfed Babies Can Still Develop Cavities
While you may lessen your chances of your baby getting cavities by breastfeeding, they still can. In fact, tooth decay can occur easily in children due to their diets and easy to miss teeth when you brush. You should always use a wet or moist rag to clean your baby’s mouth and teeth after each milk meal. This will help eliminate the possibility of dental and tooth decay.
If you are worried about your baby’s teeth and dental health, talk to Dr. Cho today and he will provide you with the information you need to know.
Come in for a Dental Checkup Today
Remember mom, you need to take care of yourself too and it is not wise to simply neglect your physical and dental health. Gum disease and tooth decay can affect you, especially as you go through your pregnancy and start to breastfeed. You need to stay hydrated and well fed.
If you are in need of a dental checkup or you think you may have tooth decay, now is the time to schedule your appointment with Dr. Cho in our La Habra office. You will receive a full dental exam and checkup while you are here.