When having a baby there are a lot of important decisions to be made. One of the biggest is whether or not to breastfeed your child. While it ultimately remains a personal decision for any new mother, there are some lesser known benefits to the most natural form of feeding that are important to be aware of, so that you can guarantee you and your family dentist are doing what is best for your little one.
In addition to the incredible antibodies contained in breast milk that aid in improving an infant’s overall well-being, breastfeeding has the added advantage of specifically enhancing the newborn’s oral health. Specifically, it can prevent both malocclusion and childhood tooth decay.
Malocclusion is a condition where the facial bones and muscles are ill-formed resulting in an incorrect positioning of the face structure which causes ongoing problems with the upper and lower jaw and teeth, especially when biting or chewing. Bottle-fed babies are more susceptible to this due to the difference between a baby bottle and a woman’s natural nipple. The mother’s nipple is the only structure able to perfectly adapt to the baby’s mouth and contribute to the development of the facial structures such as bone and muscles.
The benefits continue during the actual feeding process with the sucking motion being different between the two options. Breastfeeding requires more force from the baby’s mouth which promotes greater muscle activity and therefore helps with the muscle development. The amount of time dedicated to breast feeding before switching to the bottle can also determine if a child is at risk of experiencing malocclusion.
A baby developing teeth can often be an indication that it is time to switch to the bottle and having being breastfed increases the chances that their first set of teeth will be in good health, because the suction created when breastfeeding generates more saliva which helps to protect the teeth from decay. Babies who have been breastfed for up to one year of age have less risk of contracting tooth decay as they grow up.
Balmain Dentist is an infant friendly and family dentist, where parents can be assured that Dr Flora Galoustian is dedicated to ensuring their oral health begins as early as possible to avoid issues as a child grows. Balmain Dentist advises parents commit their children to regular checkups and dental hygiene to ensure children have the bright, healthy smile that they deserve.
For mums looking for more guidance on the subject of breastfeeding and the dental health of their children, Balmain Dentist is organising a winter event for mums and dads in the community. The event will bring together a healthcare team constituted by family dentist Dr. Flora, a nurse midwife, a lactation nurse and a physiotherapist. The aim of the event is to educate mums and dads about the importance breastfeeding and early diagnosis of several issues affecting kids development. For more information on this event please continue to check our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/balmaindentist/.