Does Breastfeeding Cause Tooth Decay in Toddlers?

After six months, your baby’s first tooth is likely to show, while some kids are born with one or more teeth, and in other cases, teeth don’t appear until the child is nearly a year old. Many women believe it’s time to stop breastfeeding when a baby’s first tooth erupts. Sometimes this is due to a pinched breast or a dread of being bit by the infant during a feeding session. Despite this, many teething babies will not bite their breast milk. Although breastfeeding is known to have many benefits for both infants and mothers, some people believe that human breast milk can cause tooth decay in toddlers.

There’s a lot of information about breastfeeding and dental health, but does breastfeeding cause tooth decay in toddlers? Keep reading to know more!

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Regarding the significance of breastfeeding, there is certainly a lot to consider. For starters, breastfeeding can help promote bonding between mother and child. It can also offer several health benefits for both mother and child, including reducing the risk of certain infections and illnesses.

Additionally, breastfeeding can also lead to more regular sleep patterns for both mom and baby and can help support expressive language development in infants. Overall, there are countless reasons why breastfeeding is beneficial – it’s really up to each individual family to decide what’s best for them.

Breastfeeding and Dental Health: What Does The Research Say

It’s a frequent misconception among new parents that breast milk contains sugar, which could increase the chances of tooth decay in babies. In fact, this is not the case at all. Children who were solely breastfed had healthy, uncorrupted enamel in multiple tests.

According to research, the risk of tooth decay (dental caries) is lower in a breastfed child than in formula-fed children. “Evidence suggests that infants who are breastfed throughout the first year of life have lower levels of dental caries than that fed infant formula,” according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report issued in January 2020.

“One comprehensive evaluation revealed an increased risk of ECC [early childhood caries] when breastfeeding persists beyond one year of age, but the data analysis did not effectively control for crucial variables such as ingestion of sweets from other sources,” the research states.

Moreover, Erickson PR, for example, conducted a study in 1999 in which teeth were immersed in a variety of solutions including water and breast milk, as well as a breast milk-sugar solution and others. Next, researchers compared the decay rates of the two sets of teeth.

During this investigation, researchers found that breast milk was practically indistinguishable from water and did not induce tooth decay. In fact, it was discovered in a follow-up study that breast milk improved the health of teeth! In most cases, additional foods, sweets, and other substances other than breast milk are to blame for cavities in infants.

Breastfeeding not only benefits the mother and child in the long run but also aids in the proper growth of the child’s jaw and teeth. When a kid is breastfed for a longer period of time, the chance of crooked teeth (also known as malocclusion) is reduced even further. Dental fluorosis may be prevented in breastfed babies (discoloration of teeth).

Breastfeeding and Healthy Teeth: Better Bite

Babies who were exclusively breastfed for the first six months had fewer alignment issues like open bites, crossbites, and overbites than infants who had been solely breastfed for a shorter period or not at all, according to recent research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association in August 2017 and in the journal Pediatrics in 2015.

However, this does not imply that your breastfed child will never need braces. A child’s alignment can be affected by various other factors, such as hereditary disposition, the use of pacifiers, and thumbsucking. As a mother and spokesman for the American Dental Association, Dr. Ruchi Sahota knows all too well the challenges of raising a kid. A trip to the dentist is the best thing a mother can do to ensure that her child’s teeth are coming in and out correctly at the appropriate times, according to her dentist.

Can Babies Still Get Cavities Even When Breastfed?

It’s one of the most frequently asked topics among new mothers: Can breastfeeding cause your baby dental cavities? It is possible. Breast milk, like infant formula, includes sugar despite being natural. So, whether your kid is breastfed or bottle-fed, you must take good care of his or her teeth immediately. Start washing your baby’s gums with a clean, moist washcloth or gauze pad a few days after birth. When she’s got her first tooth, begin brushing it twice daily as soon as possible. Only apply a small amount of fluoride toothpaste at a time and brush your teeth thoroughly after that.

Read more: Gingivitis in Kids: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Contact Junior Smiles of Stafford to learn more about breastfeeding and how it can affect your child’s dental health

If you have any other questions or concerns about breastfeeding and your child’s dental health, please do not hesitate to reach out to a reputable pediatric dentist. Our dentists at Junior Smiles of Stafford are experts in pediatric dental care and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about this condition.

Why Choose Junior Smiles of Stafford?

Our Stafford, VA team is well-versed in working with clients of various ages and backgrounds. They’ll take the time to get to know you and your family’s requirements, and they’ll work with you to design a treatment plan that suits your schedule. Sealants and fluoride treatments are just two of the many preventative care options we provide to keep your mouth healthy.

About Us

Visiting Junior Smiles of Stafford means you’re in good hands when it comes to receiving high-quality care. Your child’s dental health improves with each visit, ensuring a brighter smile for years to come. We adhere to the ADA and AAPD’s guidelines for best practices. 

Where Are We Located?

963 Garrisonville Rd #103

Stafford, VA 22556

Phone: (540) 699-2441

Fax: (540) 699-2464


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Wednesdays and Thursdays: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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How to Book Your Kids First Appointment at Junior Smiles of Stafford

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