One of the first choices a mom makes for her child is the choice of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Breastfeeding offers a wide range of benefits such as reducing the chance of SIDS, ear infections, and asthma. It also is a great way for moms to reduce their chances of developing certain cancers. Aside from these benefits, Fort York Dentist wants you to be aware of the many ways that oral health is affected by breastfeeding.
Teeth Eruption Doesn’t Require Weaning
It’s common for new moms to assume that the moment their baby gets teeth, they have to stop breastfeeding. This is far from the truth, feeding your child breast milk for the first year of life is recommended. Every mother and child duo is different, so how long or short of time you choose to breastfeed is entirely up to you.
There are several studies, the most recent being from late August 2017 that infants who received breast milk during their first 6 months of life were less likely to suffer from issues with teeth alignment, overbites or crossbites. This, of course, doesn’t mean that breastfed children will have perfect teeth, it just means that those issues were found less often in children who had been breastfed.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Can Be Avoided
One thing you can avoid by breastfeeding is the tooth decay that comes with using bottles on a regular basis. Sugar, which is found in even infant formula, can sit on the teeth all night which encourages decay. That’s not to say babies that are breastfed won’t get cavities, in fact, they are also at risk because human milk also contains sugar, though in lesser amounts. It’s important to start on your baby’s oral hygiene by brushing your baby’s teeth with a fluoride children’s toothpaste as soon as their first tooth erupts.
Check Your Medications
If you as a breastfeeding mother plan to have any dental work done that requires you to take medication, make sure to speak with one of the specialists at Fort York Dentist to ensure that it’s safe for your baby. Most medications are expressed in breast milk, so it’s important to double check any and all new medications you will be taking.
Taking care of a new baby is often very time-consuming, and a lot of that time is taken away from a new mom’s self-care routine. In many cases, new moms may skip brushing twice a day, or even forget several days in a row which can lead to problems with their own oral health down the line. It’s crucial that you keep up your dental care because any bacteria from your mouth, including cavities, can be transferred to your baby.
Watch Your Grind
Mothers are also more prone to teeth grinding, which is always a danger for oral health. During pregnancy, there is more tension in the neck and head muscles which can lead to teeth grinding, while after birth, its stress and lack of sleep that can lead to bruxism. Dehydration is another common problem mom’s face, which can lead to an increase of cavities and other oral health issues.
Fort York Dentist & Your Oral Health
We care about our new moms and their newest additions as much as all of our other dental patients. If you need help with your oral health care or that of your child, give Fort York Dentist a call at (647) 346-8888 to set up a time to come by.