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The Connection Between Breastfeeding and Tooth Decay

Pregnant woman sitting on a sofa

A myth that has been floating around for quite some time is the fact that breastfeeding leads to tooth decay in children. Naturally, this has raised a common cause of concern amongst lactating mothers. However, tooth decay results from many other factors amongst children, not because they're breastfed.

Let's elaborate more.

Does Breast Milk Cause Tooth Decay?

The answer is simply no. However, what can cause tooth decay within babies is a night bottle. When babies are given a bottle of milk left in their mouth while they're asleep, the milk can slowly pour onto the teeth and cause them to decay.

Whereas, when it comes to breastfeeding, the milk doesn't gather in the mouth and is swallowed by the child as they actively suck. Another thing to consider is that the breastmilk enters the baby's mouth from behind the teeth, so it really doesn't have anything to do with tooth decay.

How is Tooth Decay Caused Amongst Babies?

There is a bacteria present inside the plaque called Streptococcus mutans, which is considered the primary cause of tooth decay within babies. What happens is that this bacterium produces acid in sugary foods, which directly results in tooth decay. This particular bacterium is also lowkey present in saliva.

After your child gets teeth, they can get this bacterium through salivation to salivation contact from mother to child. To assist with forestalling the move of these microscopic organisms to the child, keep away from any salivation to spit contact like sharing spoons and cups, wet kisses on the mouth, biting nourishment for the child, or placing the child's pacifier in your mouth.

If you're a new mother and have concerns over your baby's forming teeth, visit Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics at your earliest convenience to meet with Dr. David Garlock or Dr. Matthew Brady.

Posted on Sep 27, 2021
Image Credit:

File ID 49088451 | © Subbotina | Dreamstime.com

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