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!

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let’s Make it Work!

How are you spending your week of August 1st through the 7th? Join us in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, an annual week-long event that engages women from all around the world with breastfeeding news, support, and community building. This year marks the 24th year for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the founding group and champions of moms and babies across the globe. This year’s initiative is “Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work!” in remembrance of the 1993 theme: “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.”World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let's Make it Work!

 

In 1992, The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action founded World Breastfeeding Week to bring awareness to deadly infant diseases, fight world hunger, and overall promote breastfeeding worldwide. The World Health Organization and UNICEF joined as partners with the WABA and together they formed the WBW celebration as way to remind mothers, doctors, and family members that breastfeeding an infant yields the best, most cost-effective nutritional diet available. Mothers receive countless health benefits from breastfeeding as well. In 2007, the CDC reported that only 11.3 percent of new mothers exclusively breastfed their child for the first 6 months. In an effort to raise awareness and extend breastfeeding beyond a week or two, the WABA and partners tirelessly champion breastfeeding support so mothers and babies can benefit from the guidance they need for successful nursing.

This year as we follow the 1993 theme, “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative,” which sadly is still a struggle many women face today, we spread the word and encourage employers and the general public to stop criticizing women for nursing in public but instead embrace the healthy and natural process of breastfeeding. If you would like to help spread the word you can find countless La Leche chapters across the nation hosting Latch On events, and WIC offices are always opening their doors to new mothers facing breastfeeding troubles. Look at your local chapters and see how you can volunteer or participate. Leading Lady/ Loving Moments by Leading Lady is donating nursing bras to WIC offices around the country so nursing moms get the support they need for successful, comfortable breastfeeding. Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your stories with moms just like you!