One Of The Most Popular Myths About Breastfeeding Is Not True (and It Also Brings An Extra Benefit)

Breastfeeding is full of myths, but surely you were once told not to do this

Many mothers who choose breastfeeding as a form of feeding for their baby have been warned at some time in their lives about the danger of oral cavities if the baby is breastfed until he falls asleep. However, specialists not only come to demystify that sentence, but to demonstrate the benefits of the practice for oral health.

“Don’t breastfeed him at night because he will develop cavities,” I have been told once. And the truth is that far from knowing if it was true or not, I always followed my intuition and continued to breastfeed day and night. And if not, how did our ancestors do? Many health professionals give these kinds of recommendations to new mothers and even many of them also recommend brushing the baby’s teeth after breastfeeding. However, recent evidence-based research found that breastfeeding does not cause tooth decay.

Breastfeeding does not cause tooth decay

According to Mail Online, and according to the expert in breastfeeding Pinky Mc Kay, not only does breastfeeding not cause cavities, but in her experience she has seen how many women sadly stop breastfeeding thinking that they are doing harm to the breast. oral health of your babies. “It is very worrying that some doctors cite old studies and do not continue with the research,” said the specialist.

Lest there be any doubts in this regard, a report from the Spanish Association of Pediatrics should be cited that says “ We cannot ignore that if breastfeeding had been the cause of tooth decay, findings would have been found in prehistoric populations and this has not been the case. On the other hand, the fact that the prevalence of caries in humans is much higher than in other mammals suggests that there must be other factors involved, other than breast milk .

The components of breast milk, far from producing cavities, prevent their development. Among its properties for oral health care, breast milk has:

  • Defense factors, which inhibit bacterial growth, including: Immunoglobulins, especially Ig A9, lactoferrin,

  • The microbiota of breast milk also plays an important role in competitive exclusion, non-pathogenic bacteria compete for the same biological niche as pathogens.

  • Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus and proteins such as casein that make breast milk promote remineralization.

  • Components such as Arginine and Urea that favor an increase in pH and therefore decrease demineralization.

  • An adequate pH that does not modify the pH in the oral environment

Therefore, and according to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, there is no scientific evidence that mentions the relationship between breastfeeding and the appearance of cavities.

And what about the bottle?

In breastfeeding, the nipple is put into the mouth and the milk is released into the throat, which stimulates the baby to swallow. However, bottle feeding releases milk into the mouth and collects around the teeth. When a baby falls asleep with a bottle, the nipple will continue to slowly filter the remaining contents of the liquid into the mouth, while the breast will not release milk unless actively suckled.

Therefore, long-term bottle feeding could be implicated in tooth decay in infants and children. And while the antibodies in breast milk help prevent bacterial growth in the mouth, formula milk can play a role in the development of oral cavities.

Baby oral hygiene

Now that you know that breast milk does not cause cavities, you don’t have to worry. But you should be attentive to the care in the oral hygiene of your baby, especially when he begins to eat porridge and some teeth appear. According to Dentistry for Babies, some of the tips to maintain good oral health for your child are:

  • Begin cleaning the gums from birth, once a day, taking advantage of the bath time. Use a damp gauze, or a silicone thimble.

  • Begin oral hygiene with the eruption of the first baby tooth, twice a day

  • When the child is 1 year old, perform oral hygiene with a toothbrush the size of his mouth

  • If your teeth have already come out, you can floss between the contact areas

  • The use of fluoridated toothpastes is the best way to prevent cavities (only use them when the child learns to spit)

  • Let the child play while brushing, but then an adult must do the full brushing

  • Supervise night brushing as often as necessary until the child is a teenager

Good oral hygiene begins with good habits at home, and will prevent further problems in the future. And you, how do you take care of your child’s oral health?

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