With the 2015 World Breastfeeding Week being the first one in August, and all of August being dedicated to National Breastfeeding Month- today your Elmhurst dentist wanted to discuss some of the dental benefits of breastfeeding!
The perks of the actual breastmilk itself, and how it can help the developing child, has always been a point of focus for years. What we wished to focus on in this article, however, is how the act of breastfeeding, the system of delivery, can benefit a child and their oral development for years to come.
After some years of studies and research, recent reports have been published showing the advantage of being breastfed exclusively, in comparison to a combination with bottle feeding. Those children who were exclusively breastfed were 33% less likely to develop overbite or cross-bite issues later in life. This same category of children were also 45-72% less likely to develop teeth misalignment as they matured.
But what factors drive these substantial odds?
That seems to be directly correlated to the muscles in the mouth that develop during breastfeeding. The breastfeeding child also develops a stronger ability to breathe through their nose at a younger age, which also assists in the development of the oral cavity.
And while these numbers are impressive, certainly, there are factors that can disrupt these statistics, specifically pacifier usage. If a child uses a pacifier past the 6-12 month mark, they are much more likely to develop the misalignment and bite issues that breastfeeding can help diminish. Typically this type of long-term pacifier habit will result in the need for some type of orthodontic work later in life.
Your Elmhurst dentist respects the individual needs of your child, and the individual choice of a family as it comes to feeding. We just felt that with this upcoming health month and the importance we see that these factors can play, that it was worth mentioning in this post today.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call our office today at (718) 335-4980.