Can Nursing Benefit Your Child's Oral Health?

June 24, 2024

If you’re a parent, your infant’s health is the single thing you care about the most in the world. Dental health may not be a worry for you now—chances are high that your little one doesn’t even have any teeth yet. But oral health should also be a priority if you don’t want to spend your afternoons at a Sioux City family dentist for a few years on the road.  

Luckily, ensuring oral health isn't hard when your kids are infants. There’s an easy, safe method for preparing your kid’s future teeth and improving their bite, and that is nursing. Breastfeeding has many benefits for your baby’s oral health. Here are some of them.

Benefits of Nursing From a Sioux City Family Dentist

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Mother's milk was made by nature to give children all they need to grow safe and healthy. Among its numerous benefits, it can help ensure a child’s oral health for years to come.

Let’s explore some of these advantages:  

Essential Nutrients

Breast milk contains essential nutrients crucial for a child’s overall health. A well-fed kid is a healthy one, with the necessary nutrients to have strong teeth once they erupt—and to maintain them. For example:

  • Fatty acids help reduce inflammation.  
  • Proteins in breast milk contribute to building strong jaw muscles.  
  • Calcium helps teeth grow strong and healthy.
  • Vitamins ensure good nutrition, which is crucial to oral health.  

Reduced Risk of Tooth Decay

Baby formula contains sugars such as lactose, which can contribute to tooth decay. When a baby sucks on a bottle to sleep, milk may collect around the teeth, feeding acid-producing bacteria.  

This condition is often referred to as "baby bottle tooth decay."  

In contrast, breastfeeding reduces the risk of decay. Its natural composition, with no added or artificial sugars, supports oral health, helps prevent cavities, and avoids food that could compromise your baby’s teeth.

Aids in Bite Alignment

To nurse, babies need precise tongue movement and jaw coordination. These actions can help them develop a healthy bite alignment.

Avoid Nighttime Feedings

Saliva production decreases during sleep, reducing its ability to neutralize bacteria-produced acids. Because of that, experts advise parents not to put a baby to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water.

If you're breastfeeding them, chances are high you won’t be feeding them at night, as you’ll be sleeping (if you can, that is!)

Visit Your Family Dentist

Experts recommend that children have their first dental visit by age one or when the first tooth appears. Finding out when the first tooth emerges can be hard for parents who feed their kids baby formula. However, you'll know as soon as possible if you’re nursing them.

After that, regular checkups every six months help monitor and keep your family’s teeth healthy.

Sioux City Family Dentist Recommends Avoiding Nighttime Feedings

Need to Visit a Sioux City Family Dentist?

Being an infant’s parent can be hard: you must ensure their daily needs are met, in between crying and screaming, while worrying about their future and what’s to come. However, nursing your child has proven to be one of the most effective ways to ensure a healthy future.

If you want to learn more about what impacts your kid’s oral health, give us a call!

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