Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Breastfeeding your baby for above 2 years may lead to infant tooth decay
Breastfeeding has its benefits but overdoing it may also be bad for your baby, it may post a higher risk of cavities in baby's first teeth.
A new scientific study said that about 48% of babies who were breastfed beyond 24 months have developed infant tooth decay. It is because the baby’s teeth are confined while it is breastfeeding, this prevents saliva from breaking down bacteria for extended periods of time.
This is due to the fact that a baby’s teeth are sealed off while it is breastfeeding, which prevents saliva from breaking down bacteria for extended periods of time.
Benjamin Chaffee the leading researcher from University of California, San Francisco said,
"The top priority for the breastfeeding mother is to make sure that her child is getting optimal nutrition." "Our study does not suggest that breastfeeding causes caries."
Chaffee and his team studied a possible link between longer breastfeeding and the risk of tooth decay and cavities using 458 babies in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The babies are from low-income families and most of the babies were old enough to begin eating sold foods, but they were still being breastfed by their mothers. The team studied the babies when they were about 6, 12, and 38 months old.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that mothers to breast fed their babies for the first 6 months, then add solid foods to the diet after. However, they also recommends continued breastfeeding up to age two and beyond.
The team found out that about 40% of the babies breastfed between ages 6 and 24 months had developed some tooth decay by the end of the study. For babies breastfed for longer than 24 months and frequently, that number rose to 48%.
Although breastfeeding may cause tooth decay in children, doctors advise that mothers follow a hygienic habits for their babies. They could use a damped soft cloth to wipe a baby’s teeth and gums clean before and after a meal. It is also important to double check that there are no excess food in the baby’s mouth after eating, this can cause a tartar build up.