Dr Shifa Shamsudeen
Why is breastfeeding needed??
Uncompensated – Extended – Exclusive breastfeeding (minimum till 2 years of age WHO) is an essential process to ensure an optimal craniofacial maxillomandibular growth. In simple terms breast is the first functional appliance ( appliance used to straighten teeth and develop proper airways).
So what can you do as young mothers? Prenatal- ensure your Vitamin D levels are upto standards. There is a strong correlation on maternal nutrition and children’s teeth quality. Post natal – Exclusive Extended breastfeed till 2, visit a Preventive Pediatric Dentist for anticipatory guidance ( preventive Councelling) as soon as the first tooth erupts ( ensure they are breastfeeding friendly). Do not wait for symptoms to occur. .
Watch out for white spots on teeth from time to time ( see pic above), this is the earliest stage of developing cavities and can be reversed with hygiene and preventive practices , without need for invasive procedures. .
Prevention is always less invasive and effective than cure . However if you are at a stage beyond prevention and were told to stop breastfeeding…, PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR A FUNCTION FOCUSED, BREASTFEEDING FRIENDLY PEDIATRIC DENTIST, PEDIATRIC DENTIST WITH EXPERTISE IN THE ROLE OF MUSCLE FUNCTION ON CRANIOFACIAL DISEASES (including cavities). Or in simple terms a professional who not just treats symptoms of disease but also corrects and optimises the real causes.