What You Should Know About Breastfeeding and Oral Health
In honor of August being National Breastfeeding Month, we wanted to share the link between breastfeeding and oral health.
During pregnancy many women experience changes in their teeth and gums. Increased teeth sensitivity as well as bleeding and swelling gums is common in pregnant women. While these symptoms are painful, teeth and gums go back to normal after the baby is born. After the child is born, breastfeeding has an oral health benefit for the child.
A study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that children who breastfeed are more likely to have properly aligned teeth. Similar breastfeeding studies have shown that it is less likely for children who breastfeed to develop teeth misalignment later on in life.
These results were increased when children were breastfed for a longer period. Children who were breastfed for six months or longer reduced the risk of teeth misalignment by 72 percent.
Outside of proper teeth alignment, breastfeeding offers many other benefits to your baby. Nutritional support, resistance to infectious diseases, and an enhanced immune system are all benefits of breastfeeding. To learn more about the oral and overall health benefits of breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider.