New mothers are bombarded with a slew of contradictory suggestions about best practices for caring for their babies. One of the earliest and most personal decisions to make is whether you’d like to breastfeed your little one. If they have a tongue-tie, though, it can be hard for them to latch and they’ll miss out on some key benefits. The solution is a short, minor surgical procedure called a frenectomy, but some parents worry that this brief laser treatment will hurt their baby and so opt to feed them other ways. Keep reading for 3 facts to consider about your child’s dental well-being that might influence your decision!
Fact #1: Build a Better Bite
You don’t have to wait for your newborn to grow teeth to begin caring for their mouths. You can start from day one! Several studies have demonstrated a connection between nursing and having a better bite alignment. Researchers established that babies who were exclusively breastfed in their first 6 months were less likely to develop issues like open bites, cross bites, and overbites. It’s still possible that thumb-sucking, pacifier use, and genetics might result in a misalignment down the road, but it’s less likely if they’re breastfed.
Fact #2: You Can Keep Going
Many mothers believe that once their baby’s first tooth erupts it heralds the end of their special nursing connection. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Your child’s earliest teeth can arrive anywhere from 3 to 7 months of age, which is still quite young. Experts often recommend that mothers continue to nurse through the first year, at least, which means there’s still plenty of time to connect with your mini-me. You can go even longer than a year if you’d like. Every mother has unique circumstances to consider when deciding how long to breastfeed.
Fact #3: Reduce Risk of Tooth Decay
The formula used when bottle-feeding newborns often contains sugar. This attracts unhealthy bacteria that can impact their pearly whites once they start to erupt. The toxic germs can erode their protective enamel and cause cavities in their baby teeth. If you’re breastfeeding your little one, however, they’re consuming natural ingredients that don’t hurt their tiny teeth.
You can reduce the likelihood of future problems by wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth daily. Then, as soon as the teeth do arrive, you can cleanse them with a soft-bristled brush and water. You don’t want to use toothpaste until they’re older because they’ll swallow it rather than spit it back out.
If your baby has a hard time nursing, call their dentist about a frenectomy so you can share a healthy bonding experience while simultaneously improving their oral condition.
About the Practice
At the Chicago Tongue-Tie Center, our board-certified pediatric dentists have specialized training to handle lip and tongue-ties to improve your baby’s overall health. By utilizing the latest laser technology, there’s no snipping involved, and your child experiences little to no discomfort or bleeding. Our friendly team is happy to help you schedule your first consultation. You’re welcome to contact the office on the website or by calling (312) 248-2455.