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Breastfeeding and Your Baby’s Teeth: Part Two

February 24, 2016

Thought we were done discussing breastfeeding? Think again! We still have loads of information for you in our second and final installment in this series. Here are more facts to keep in mind if you’re considering breastfeeding your baby.

Breastfed babies can still get cavities.

Yet another common question asked by nursing mothers is: Can breastfeeding cause cavities? And the answer is yes, because natural breast milk, just like formula, contains sugar. Either way you swing with this decision, it’s important to put your baby’s teeth health first. A great tip is to start wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth every day, starting a few days after birth. As soon as that first tooth emerges, brush their teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. It might seem small, but it’s enough for a tiny mouth! You’ll be doing everything in your power to prevent cavities.

Need dental work done, mom? Double check your medications.

If you need to have a dental procedure that requires medication while you’re nursing, check with your dentist, personal physician, and pediatrician to ensure that any medication you’ll be taking is safe for your little one. There are antibiotics available that won’t do any harm. As a matter of fact, it’s not only safe to go the dentist while you’re pregnant and nursing, it’s important to do so for the best health of your child. Keep in mind the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Drugs and Lactation Database to search for medications and get information about how it affects your supply and your baby.

And last but not least…take care of yourself, mom! It is often found that moms are not able to take care of themselves as well as they did before giving birth. Moms should be at least doing the basics: brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, seeing their dentist regularly, staying hydrated. Keep your health in mind when you’re thinking of the heath of your child.

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