Breastfeeding and oral health are related
Breastfeeding and oral health are related according to recent scientific evidence.
In August of this year, World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated under the slogan “Protecting Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”.
International Pediatric organizations and the World Health Organization recommend breastfeeding as the best nutritional option for feeding a baby. Unfortunately, for many women it is not possible due to specific medical situations or other issues.
Now, it has been proven that breastfeeding has multiple advantages for both the baby and the mother. In children, the antibodies in breast milk reduce respiratory infections (asthma) and ear infections by up to 70%. Overmore, it protects against childhood diabetes and obesity, and reduces the chances of sudden death by 50%.
Overmore, its composition is modified to provide the infant with the necessary nutrients. Regarding the mother, it reduces the risk of high blood pressure, type II diabetes and aids recovery after childbirth. Breast and ovarian cancer appearance is also reduced.
Does breastfeeding affect oral health?
For sure, breastfeeding is also very beneficial for children’s oral health for several reasons:
- With breastfeeding, the baby is learning how to swallow and breathe properly.
- Sucking at the breast promotes the growth of the baby’s jaws, preparing them for the next stages of development. It is important to know that inadequate jaw growth affects breathing and, as a consequence, influences sleep, memory and concentration.
- All facial muscles are strengthened during sucking intervals. In addition, the position of the lips on the nipple promotes perioral development and the subsequent pronunciation of phonemes. Many studies show that children who have been breastfed have fewer malocclusion problems.
- The dynamics of the neuro muscular chain related to breathing, swallowing and phonation depend on breastfeeding. All the muscular systems are related.
Boj JR, Catalá M, Mendoza A, Planells P, Cortés O, Odontopediatría. Bebés, niños y adolescentes. México DF. Odontología Books, 2019.
Boj JR, González, P, Hernández M, Cortés O, Odontopediatría. Dudas y aclaraciones. México DF. Odontología Books, 2019.