Breast Milk and Cavities
Shamefully, many pediatric (child) dentists believe that frequent breastfeeding, on cue, as nature intended, is the cause of childhood cavities.
This is not true, and it does not make sense since nature did not design its ideal food source for infants, breast milk, to be the cause of disease.
Dental Organizations are Both For and Against Regular Breastfeeding
“Breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best development and psychosocial outcomes for the infant.”
Infants who are strictly breastfed are more resistant to tooth decay.
The potential for early childhood caries exists for the breastfed child and is related to the extended and repetitive feeding times with prolonged exposure of teeth to fermentable carbohydrate without appropriate oral hygiene measures.
"Ad libitum nocturnal breastfeeding should be avoided after the first primary tooth begins to erupt. If the infant falls asleep while feeding, the teeth should be cleaned before placing the child in bed."
Ad libitum means at will, or on cue.
If your child needs a comforter between regular feedings, at night, or during naps, give the child a clean pacifier recommended by your dentist or physician.
The AAPD Acknowledges a Lack of Evidence for this Position Regarding Extended Feedings
The AAPD recognizes the need for further scientific research regarding the effects of breastfeeding and the consumption of human milk on dentofacial growth and oral health.
Breast Milk Inhibits Bacterial Growth and Acid
Researchers concluded that breast milk prohibits acid and bacterial growth in the mouth.
"Human breast milk is not cariogenic."
That means it won't cause cavities
Big Bad Cavities: Breastfeeding is NOT the Cause
Lack of Science to Support Anti-Breastfeeding Claims
If breast milk does not cause cavities, then why is it the position of a majority of pediatric dentists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to try to get parents to stop night time nursing?
Truth: Night Time Nursing is Vital for Health
Parents know that young children grow rapidly, and they grow at night. When night time nursing, during the period of rapid growth, infants and young children get the best food on the planet to support their growth: human breast milk. Any policy advising against breastfeeding, especially at night, is a policy designed to thwart full and healthy child development. Reducing night time breastfeeding will therefore promote cavities.
Testimonial From Hanna H.
"I still continue to night nurse my daughter and she has no decay!"
Conclusion about Breastfeeding and Cavities
Breastfeeding has been wrongly demonized in our culture. Comments range from saying that breastfeeding is spoiling infants or preventing them from growing up, to saying that it is the cause of tooth decay.
It is vital that the mother's breast milk be as healthy as possible, so that her child is as healthy as possible. A good treatment for children's tooth decay involves the mother continuing to breastfeed, while improving her diet.
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