Breastfeeding and a Baby’s Oral Health and Development

Did you know breastfeeding can build a strong jaw, teeth, and prevent cavities? Breastfeeding can do a lot for a baby’s oral health and development. Compared to bottle fed babies, those who are breastfed exclusively for 6 months are less likely to develop malocclusion, an overbite, and they are less likely to take a pacifier, which can cause future dental issues. Today we are sharing a few ways breastfeeding is good for your baby’s oral health and development!

 

The precious moment’s spent breastfeeding  go hand in hand with the wonderful benefits breastmilk gives our babies. What many moms don’t know is breastfeeding provides ample attributes to their baby’s development, such as oral health. When a baby breastfeeds they are using various muscles in their face, such as their tongue and lips to squeeze and eat. When their muscles contract they are building a stronger jaw and tongue which will help later on when they are ready to eat solid foods.

Furthermore, while your baby breastfeeds they are also shaping their mouths for proper dental development. In compassion to bottle fed babies, breastfeeding promotes lip squeezing which creates a well-developed jaw whereas bottle feeders are more prone to sucking with their tongue. The roof of your mouth is connected to your upper jaw, and when your baby sucks too forcefully on a bottle it can potentially cause improper teeth alignment in the future because the tops of their mouths are not developing into a fitting arch for appropriate development. This is also associated with thumb sucking and pacifiers.

While breastfed babies are not prone to cavities, they do have a lesser chance than formula feed babies of developing them later in life. One of the biggest problems with bottle feeding your baby is they have the chance of not swallowing all of the liquid. The formula than pools in their mouth which can cause bacteria build up, cavities, tooth decay, and dry mouth. When a baby breastfeeds they are preventing pooling because they pull their mother’s nipple deep in their mouths and squeeze the milk to the back of their throats. This prevents bacteria build up and the risk of dental decay. The baby is also producing more saliva when they breastfeed which inhibits dry mouth.

Breastmilk also has the ability to fight off bacteria and other dental issues because it has high pH levels. IgA and IgG are just two good enzymes in human milk that fights off bad bacteria and promotes proper teeth development. Breastmilk also has the key nutrients, calcium and phosphorus, which helps teeth grow strong and healthy.

 

It may be true that breastfeeding your baby will help them build a strong oral health and development, but it’s also true that a healthy diet will help this process. A mother’s diet is just as important as what she feeds her baby because whatever she consumes, her baby consumes as well through her breastmilk. Ask your doctor or lactation consultant what they think about breastfeeding and oral health and development, and what you can do to help your baby grow up strong and healthy!