Breast Or Bottle?: How Each Feeding Style Affects Your Baby's Dental Health

If you are a new mother, then congratulations! That being said, you may be considering breastfeeding and wondering about its dental benefits when compared to bottle feeding. 

Whether your child feeds from your breast or from a bottle, here is some useful information about how each feeding style can affect your baby's dental health:

How Breastfeeding Affects Your Baby's Teeth

It turns out that breastfeeding can have a positive impact on your baby's teeth. Recent research has shown that babies who are breastfed have a lower occurrence of misaligned teeth than babies who don't breastfeed. Even just half a year of breastfeeding proved to be helpful in maintaining a properly aligned jaw and mouth, meaning that the breastfed babies had fewer instances of an underbite, overbite or crooked jaw. 

On the Other Hand…

Now, that being said, this does not mean that you can simply rely on breastfeeding as a means of guaranteeing a perfect smile for your child. A range of other factors play a role in how your baby's teeth develop and grow. For example, your child's genetic predispositions and oral hygiene habits will play essential roles in the appearance of his or her future teeth.

Thus, it is imperative that you keep your baby's teeth clean as they begin to erupt. This doesn't take a great amount of effort, though. You can quickly clear away plaque by simply wiping the teeth with a damp washcloth or using a finger toothbrush. Be sure to swipe the gums also to help prevent gum disease.

In addition, as soon as the first little pegs appear, schedule a dental appointment with a pediatric dentist.

What About the Bottle?

You may worry now about using a bottle to feed your baby. While baby bottle tooth decay can be detrimental, it is totally preventable. You can feel free to feed your baby with a bottle, but pay attention to what the bottle contains. Sugary juices can contribute to a build-up of bacteria, and your baby should never be allowed to feed on any liquid other than water during periods of sleep or rest.

Caring for your child's teeth is likely a top priority for you. To ensure that you are doing what is best for your little one's oral health and for more about this topic, consult with a pediatric dentist in your area. He or she will be able to answer questions concerning your child's oral health and make additional suggestions to help keep your baby's teeth and gums healthy.