Breastfeeding Doesn't Increase Kids' Risk of Cavities
Regularly putting babies to bed with a bottle or letting little ones walk around with sugary drinks all day are surefire ways increase kids' risk of cavities. But does breastfeeding bring on tooth decay, too? Luckily, reassuring new research puts this common concern to rest for nursing moms.
Breastfeeding (even for a long period of time) does not put infants at risk for early cavities in their baby teeth (also called primary, temporary, milk, or falling-off teeth) or decay once their permanent big-kid teeth (also called secondary or permanent teeth) start growing in. That's what researchers found when they analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about more than 1,500 2- to 5-year-olds.
And although some have suggested that breastfeeding for longer than the recommended 12 months could put babies at risk for dental decay, this study found no evidence that prolonged breastfeeding has any effect on cavities in baby or permanent teeth. (All of the major medical organizations suggest exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continuing breastfeeding until 12 months -- and beyond -- if both mom and baby are willing.)
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, children's health
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