Breastfeeding infants for six months reduces dental disease

Breastfeeding infants for six months reduces dental disease

Infants who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop dental disease.

This is according to new research presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting.

Researchers analysed the link between exclusive breastfeeding and the risk of dental disease in more than 24,000 children, according to Healio.

They found that the prevalence of dental decay, toothaches and cavities was 9%.

Higher risk

Researchers found dental disease was more common in infants who were never breastfed (12.3%).

As a result, those who were breastfed exclusively for half a year were 28% less likely to have dental decay, toothaches and cavities when compared to those who were never breastfed.

Additionally, those with mothers who suffered from poor health were around twice as likely to develop poor oral health.

Influence on breastmilk

This comes as a study suggests a high-sugar diet during the breastfeeding period can delay cognitive development. 

The research team looked at 88 participants. They all consumed sugary juices and beverages each day during the first month of breastfeeding.

The research suggests that mothers who consume sugary beverages after giving birth risk exposing their newborns to the sugars through their breastmilk.

As a result, it can lead to poorer cognitive development in infants nearly two years later.

‘Breastfeeding can have so many benefits,’ said Dr Michael Goran, programme director for diabetes and obesity at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

‘But we’re seeing that breastmilk is influenced by what moms eat and drink even more than we realised.

‘Mums may not realise that what they eat and drink during breastfeeding may influence their infant’s development down the road. But that’s what our results indicate.’

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