Some mothers nurse their babies, while others bottle-feed their infants. It’s each mom’s personal choice. If you’re a mom who decides to breastfeed, know that it can be advantageous to the dental health of your son or daughter.
When your child receives care from a pedodontist, you want a thoughtful and detailed provider who makes you and your child feel at ease, listens to any of your concerns, offers excellent service and works with you throughout the treatment plan. The office of Ridgewood Valley Pediatric Dentistry is proud to possess all of those qualities.
Two recent professional studies compared newborns who fed from only the breast until they were 6 months old to newborns who were exclusively breastfed for less than six months or not at all. The studies concluded that those who fed from only the breast until they were 6 months old were less apt to develop problems concerning their teeth alignment, such as overbites, crossbites and open bites.
Exclusively breastfeeding also reduces babies’ chances of developing “baby bottle tooth decay.” This term refers to cavities that arise in infants and toddlers who nap or are put to bed with a bottle containing anything but water. Though baby bottle tooth decay may affect any or all of the teeth, it’s most prevalent in the upper front teeth.
It’s important to note that breastfed babies are still vulnerable to tooth decay. There’s sugar in breast milk, so it’s necessary to care for your baby’s oral health right from the start.
A few days after birth, begin gently wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding to remove sugar and bacteria. Once that initial tooth erupts, brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a toothbrush made specifically for a small child. (Their bristles are very soft, and their heads are extremely small.) Apply a smidge (the size of a grain of rice) of mild-flavored, non-fluoridated toothpaste and softly brush every side of the tooth and its surrounding gum.
We here at Ridgewood Valley Pediatric Dentistry are courteous, professional and friendly. We explain everything to our patients and their parents in simple terms, and we give them as much time as they need to ask questions. Please call today to find out how we can serve your child’s dental needs.