Breastfeeding for Building a Better Bite


14 April 2023

Breastfeeding for Building a Better Bite

Bite problems can lead to several dental diseases, including tooth decay, gum disease, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. When the teeth are not properly aligned, it can be difficult to clean them effectively, leading to a buildup of plaque and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, bite problems can put undue stress on the jaw joint, leading to TMJ disorders, which can cause pain, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth. It is important to address bite problems early to prevent these dental diseases from developing.

There are several common bite problems that people in the USA may experience. These include:

  1. Overbite: An overbite is when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. This can cause the upper teeth to appear more prominent and can lead to dental problems such as tooth wear, gum irritation, and jaw pain.
  2. Underbite: An underbite is when the lower front teeth protrude in front of the upper front teeth. This can cause difficulties with chewing and speaking and can lead to dental problems such as tooth wear and jaw pain.
  3. Crossbite: A crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This can cause tooth wear, gum disease, and jaw pain.
  4. Open Bite: An open bite is when the upper and lower teeth do not meet when biting down. This can cause difficulties with chewing and speaking and can lead to dental problems such as tooth wear and jaw pain.
  5. Crowding: Crowding is when there is not enough room in the mouth for all the teeth, causing them to overlap or become crooked. This can make it difficult to clean the teeth properly, leading to dental problems such as decay and gum disease.


Can breastfeeding influence the future bite of a child? 

Prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding beyond six months of age can potentially affect the development of a child's bite. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, followed by a combination of breast milk and other foods until at least 12 months of age.

However, if a child continues to breastfeed frequently, for long durations, or with poor latching techniques, it can potentially affect the growth and development of their jaws and teeth. This can result in bite problems such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite.

It is important for mothers to be aware of the potential impact of breastfeeding on their child's dental development and to seek advice from a healthcare professional if they have concerns. A dentist or orthodontist can evaluate a child's bite and provide recommendations for treatment or management if necessary.

While breastfeeding alone may not necessarily prevent bite problems, it can promote healthy dental development when done properly. Breastfeeding provides infants with the necessary nutrients for growth and development, including those needed for healthy teeth and gums.

In addition, the sucking motion required during breastfeeding can help to develop the muscles and coordination needed for proper tongue and jaw positioning, which can support healthy dental development.


How to evaluate the development of a kid's bite?

Evaluating a child's bite requires a comprehensive dental examination, which may be performed by a dentist or orthodontist at East Meadow Dental SPA clinic. The evaluation typically involves the following steps:

  1. Medical and Dental History: The dentist or orthodontist will review the child's medical and dental history, including any history of tooth decay, gum disease, or oral habits such as thumb sucking or pacifier use.
  2. Clinical Examination: The dentist or orthodontist will examine the child's teeth, gums, and jaws to assess their alignment and bite. They will also check for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other dental problems.
  3. Diagnostic Tests: In some cases, the dentist or orthodontist may order diagnostic tests such as dental X-rays, photographs, or dental impressions to further evaluate the child's bite.
  4. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning: Based on the examination and diagnostic tests, the dentist or orthodontist will make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan, if necessary. Treatment may include orthodontic appliances such as braces or clear aligners, dental restorations, or oral surgery.

It is recommended that children receive their first dental visit by age one or within six months of the eruption of their first tooth. Early evaluation and treatment of bite problems at East Meadow Dental SPA clinic can help to prevent more serious dental problems from developing in the future.

It is important to note that a child's dental development is influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, nutrition, and oral habits. Therefore, while breastfeeding may be beneficial for dental development, it may not necessarily prevent all types of bite problems.

To promote healthy dental development, it is important to ensure that infants receive adequate nutrition, practice good oral hygiene habits, and receive regular dental check-ups from an early age.

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