Feeding Habits

Breastfeeding promotes an optimum muscular action for jaw growth! Breastfeeding has important nutritious, immune and emotional benefits for the baby. It also helps to develop a correct positioning of the dental arches (jaws) and therefore a good dental occlusion (the relation between upper and lower teeth). Breastfeeding also encourages the baby's nasal breathing, helps a better positioning of the tongue, a good development of the oral muscles, prevents atypical swallowing patterns, promotes a correct palate formation, and increases salivary flow, among many other advantages. Most paediatric dentists, including us, coincide in the great importance of breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life for the correct development of the mouth and for occlusion, breathing and swallowing during childhood.

  • » Sustained breastfeeding and caries
    • The connection between prolonged breastfeeding (after the year of age if it is during the day and/or after the first milk tooth erupts if it is during night) and caries is a great controversy.

      However, most mothers who breastfeed on demand during the night when maximum susceptibility to bacterial attack is there because there is almost no salivary flow and the baby's teeth aren’t cleaned afterwards. This increases the risk to caries.

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  • » Our advice on breastfeeding is
    • Remember that feeding will not cause caries on its own; however, in our everyday practice we see many nursing babies with carious lesions if
      • sustained breastfeeding combines with a lack of oral hygiene and/or if the baby breastfeeds several times during the night;
      • if the child stays prolonged hours with the liquid on his/her mouth;

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  • » The early use of the baby bottle has consequences in the future!
    • The baby bottle is the most common alternative used by most mothers who can't (or decide not to) breastfeed their child. We believe it is important that parents are know that using a baby bottle (of any kind) does not promote the growth and development of the jaw bones and facial muscles as breastfeeding does.

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  • » Our advice on this subject is
    • Once the first milk tooth erupts avoid giving your baby bottles with anything but water during night-time. If you don't, it is very important to clean your baby's mouth before he/she falls asleep

      Use bottles with small holes, similar to those of the mother’s breasts.also use the nipples of the bottle which are of physiological shape.

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