September 8, 2021
Whether or not you choose to breastfeed your little one is a personal decision. There are certainly many factors to take into consideration, including your health, your baby’s health, and more. If you do choose to breastfeed, you can expect your baby to experience some noteworthy benefits for their oral health and development. A holistic dentist in Southlake, Dr. Preetha Thomas, is here to explain exactly what some of those benefits are.
Proper Jaw Development
Breastfeeding is a jaw exercise for babies. It encourages proper development of the jawbone, which in turn can reduce the risk of a number of problems later on. A study featured in Pediatrics considered over 1,300 children and found that those whose primary source of sustenance was breastfeeding had a lower risk of several types of malocclusion (bad bite), including open bite, cross bite, overbite, and underbite. Avoiding these issues can lower the chances that a child will require orthodontic care later in life.
Lower Risk of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is a common problem that occurs when babies are put to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or another sugary drink. The sugar lingers on their teeth for a long time and contributes to the development of cavities. Breastfed babies are generally at a lower risk of tooth decay because most of their sustenance comes straight from Mom.
Promotion of Nasal Breathing
When your baby is latched onto your breast, they must breathe through their nose. This is excellent for their oral health because it encourages good oral muscle development and normal swallowing patterns. A study of more than 200 children found that children who were exclusively breastfed for a relatively long time were less likely to breathe through their mouth. Reducing mouth-breathing promotes proper tongue placement and a lower risk of dental decay.
Overcoming Challenges to Breastfeeding
It must be acknowledged that breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Some moms notice that their babies have difficulty latching. This issue might indicate that the child has a lip or tongue tie. Fortunately, lip and tongue tie are usually easy to treat. Dr. Thomas can help by performing a frenectomy, a quick surgical procedure that can free up your baby’s oral tissues and facilitate proper function. Of course, if breastfeeding difficulties arise from other problems, a lactation consultant may be able to help.
Breastfeeding can do wonders for your baby’s oral development. It is certainly worth your time to consider whether you can make breastfeeding an integral part of your little one’s early life.
Meet Dr. Thomas
Dr. Preetha Thomas is an experienced dentist in Southlake who focuses on providing holistic care to her patients. As a mom of three, she is familiar with the joys and challenges of parenthood. If you have questions about how to care for your baby’s oral health, or if you have noticed signs of lip tie or tongue tie in your little one, Dr. Thomas would be happy to help. Contact our practice at 817-912-1218.
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