Breastfeeding & Infant Oral Health

Breastfeeding & Infant Oral Health
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Table of Contents

  1. How Breastfeeding Affects your Infant's Oral Health

Breastfeeding can have numerous positive effects on a baby’s health, including their oral health

Not only can breastfeeding help to supply the minerals and nutrients needed for strong teeth, but it may also help with tooth alignment and decay prevention. Breast milk has antibacterial properties that can fight off cavity-causing bacteria, and the act of breastfeeding may encourage proper teeth alignment and development. 

Even if you are unable to breastfeed or have chosen not to, there are steps you can take to promote your infant’s oral health and prevent common problems like tooth decay or teeth misalignment (malocclusion). Gently cleansing your baby’s gums after feeding, monitoring for any signs of decay, and never letting your baby go to bed with a cup or bottle can help ensure healthy gums and teeth.

How Breastfeeding Affects your Infant's Oral Health

Breastfeeding is considered the best way to give your baby the nutrients needed for healthy development and growth. Breast milk is safe and offers essential nourishment and antibodies. Research has shown that breastfeeding can provide long-term health advantages to the child as well as the mother.  

The benefits of breastfeeding60615-2/fulltext) also extend to oral health and dental care.1 This is due to a number of factors, including the overall optimal nutrition delivered by exclusive breastfeeding. In addition, breast milk has antibacterial properties that can help fight off plaque and bacteria buildup, and its sugar makeup may contribute less to cavities and decay than the sugars used in formulas. 

In terms of teeth alignment, as well as exposure to sugars and plaque, the anatomy of the nipple may also be advantageous when compared to an artificial bottle nipple.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.