Less Risk of Crossbites with Breast Feeding
Many Americans are aware of the numerous benefits to breastfeeding, such as the nutritional benefits and benefits to the immune system. Recently, another benefit has been found which is that breastfeeding for six months or more can potentially lower the risk of malocclusion, or crossbite. A crossbite occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not line up correctly, causing an over- or underbite.
Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo City in Sao Paulo, Brazil recently examined the teeth of 1377 school-age children. They then surveyed the mothers of the children to determine if they breastfed their infants, and if so, for how long. They found that the longer the mothers breastfed, particularly if they breastfed their children for over six months, the less likely their children suffered from a crossbite.
While the researchers did not definitively identify a reason as to why breastfeeding for over six months was associated with a lower risk of crossbite, one reason may be that a mother’s nipple fits into a baby’s mouth more naturally than an artificial nipple from a bottle. Many pediatricians and dentists believe that a natural nipple places less stress on the infant’s growing teeth. In addition, children who were breastfed were less likely to develop a thumb-sucking habit or another sucking habit that is associated with dental problems.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding for your child’s teeth, visit your Northridge dentist. If you or your child already suffers from a crossbite or other teeth alignment problem, our Northridge Invisalign provider can help. Call today to schedule a consultation.