According to a study published in the journal Pediatricslong-term breastfeeding affects the state of children's teeth, transmits CNN.
In Brazil, scientists analyzed the health of 1129 children, some of whom were breastfed for more than 2 years. At the age of 5, the children visited the dentist to determine the state of their oral health, the presence of caries and tooth decay.
Among the subjects, 23,9% had serious dental problems and 48% had holes in their teeth. Among children who were breastfed for 2 years or more, dental problems were 2,4 times more common than among those who were breastfed for less than a year.
“There is an explanation for this situation. First, babies who breastfeed for more than 2 years usually require milk at night. Second, breastfeeding at night on demand makes it difficult to brush your teeth during this particular period, ”said study lead author Karen Perez, an assistant professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia.
At the same time, breastfeeding from 12 to 23 months does not adversely affect the health of the baby’s teeth.
Marcia Vitolo, professor of medical sciences at the Federal University of Health Sciences in Porto Alegre, Brazil, agrees with this study. She notes that the cause of dental problems during breastfeeding is excessive consumption of sugar.
“I think there is a connection between breastfeeding and cavities when the environment is unhealthy,” the researcher said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding infants for a year, and it is worth prolonging it only if the mother and child want it. Recommendations from the World Health Organization extend breastfeeding to two years or more. There are benefits to breastfeeding for both mother and baby. It provides babies with essential nutrients for growth and development, and reduces the risk of infectious diseases, ear infections, diarrhea, and even death. For mothers, breastfeeding can help return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, as well as reduce the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says there are very few reasons not to breastfeed, although some diseases may be prohibited. You should always consult a doctor to determine if the mother can safely breastfeed.