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Is long-term breastfeeding increasing your child's cavity risk?

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  There's a chance that breastfeeding your child for two years or longer could increase their risk of developing cavities in the future, according to research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Posted: September 19, 2017

While breastfeeding offers substantial benefits that can help your baby fight off viruses and bad bacteria, it may be harmful for an infant's oral health in the long-run. Specifically, there's a chance that breastfeeding your child for two years or longer could increase their risk of developing cavities in the future, according to research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The research
The study analyzed 1,129 children in Pelotas, Brazil for breastfeeding behaviors and sugar consumption to see if breastfeeding played a large role in the occurrence of cavities. The kids, at age 5, were then taken to the dentist and checked for decayed, missing, or filled primary teeth.

Of the children analyzed, 23.9 percent had severe cavities. The researchers found that the children who had been breastfed for two years or longer were 2.4 times more likely to develop a severe cavities than those who were breastfed for less than a year

"There are some reasons to explain such an association," according to Dr. Karen Peres, lead author of the study and associate professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia. "First, children who are exposed to breastfeeding beyond 24 months are usually those breastfed on demand and at night. Second, higher frequency of breastfeeding and nocturnal breastfeeding on demand makes it very difficult to clean teeth in this specific period."

Teaching your children healthy oral habits early will reduce their cavity risk.Teaching your children healthy oral habits early will reduce their cavity risk.

The researchers concluded that the correlation proved that prolonged breastfeeding can in fact increase your child's risk of developing dental cavities. As per suggestion by the AAP, "The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant." Also, take precautionary measures by practicing healthy dental habits on your infant and teaching him or her proper oral care as early as possible.

Teaching your children healthy dental hygiene
To ensure your newborn's risk for developing cavities is low, consider halting your breastfeeding as per the American Academy of Pediatrics suggestion. Once your baby starts to grow the first set of pearly whites, use an infant toothbrush with effective toothpaste to safely brush their teeth.

As soon as your young children are able to hold a toothbrush and begin brushing on their own, be sure to teach them the importance of oral health and dental hygiene. Get them their own TheraBreath Toothpaste and show them the proper brushing technique that needs to be practiced once in the morning and again at night. Around the age of five, your kids can begin to brush their teeth unsupervised and start using TheraBreath for Kids! Anti-Cavity Oral Rinse. This healthy mouthwash tastes great, freshens breath, fights cavities and is free of artificial colors and flavors. Our formula is made with certified natural flavoring from organic grapes and it's sweetened with xylitol, a natural sweetener that's known for its proven dental benefits.

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