Health Tip: Breast-feeding May Help Teeth

For both mother and child

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(HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding has been shown to help babies fight infections and prevent asthma, childhood obesity and SIDS.

It may also help both the mother's and baby's teeth, recent research finds.

Children who were breast-fed exclusively for the first six months of life were less likely to have teeth alignment issues than those who were breast-fed for a shorter time or bottle-fed, the American Dental Association (ADA) says.

The ADA offers this additional information:

  • Breast-feeding may help build a better bite.
  • It is not necessary to stop breast-feeding once your child grows teeth.
  • Breast-feeding reduces the risk that bottle-feeding creates for tooth decay.
  • Breast-fed babies can still get cavities, so you should wipe an infant's gums and teeth with a cloth after every feeding. Use a toothbrush once the infant's first tooth emerges.

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