Look Before You Breastfeed Your Child

Since our early days, we have been taught that mother’s milk is the best food for a baby. It is definitely the best food undoubtedly and is also the only food for the newborns. Medical professionals all over the world say that mother should breastfeed a child until the age of two. Mother’s milk helps in both mental and physical growth of the child. In many poverty-prone countries, sometimes, mother’s milk is the only food they can afford to give to their children. Nowadays, researchers are saying that breastfeeding at the age of two or older can increase a child’s risk of severe dental caries by the time they reach the age of five and that too irrespective of how much sugar they are intaking.

To find the evidence behind such announcement by the researchers, scientists are undertaking various research and studies. Karen Glazer Peres if the University of Adelaide, Australia, and his colleagues made a study of data carrying the reports on 1,129 children who were born in 2004 in Pelotas, a community in Brazil with a public fluoridated water supply. The study revealed that children were breastfed and data on breastfeeding information was collected on the basis of three months, one year and two years old, while the sugar consumption data were collected when they were at the age of 2, 4 and 5.

As reported in the journal Pediatrics, children nearly by the age of five were observed to have severe early childhood caries, and researchers defined the condition as more decayed, missing or filled the tooth. Reports indicated that nearly half of the children examined had at least one tooth surface affected. One-quarter of the group was breastfed for at least two years of age, and they showed to have a higher number of teeth that were early decayed, missing or had a filling. Apparently, it indicated that their risk of having severe early childhood caries was almost 2.4 times higher to than those who were breastfed for only one year of age. Researchers found out that the babies who were breastfed for 13 to 23 months of age were mostly safe from dental caries.

Experiments were also performed to find out the impact of sugar consumption on children’s tooth decay. The results were found that sugar consumption was only associated with a greater risk of causing severe early childhood dental caries when it was compared between children who consumed the highest amount of the ones who consumed the least.

Analysis showed that prolonged breastfeeding stood as an independent risk for severe caries and decayed missing or filled teeth, but it has to be kept in mind that breastfeeding is an unquestioned ideal source of infant nutrition.

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