As a parent, you doubtless want to do whatever you can to help ensure that your child grows and develops normally. One concern that many of our patients have (especially those who are first time parents) is what they can do to help make sure that their child's teeth come in straight.
While there are a number of factors involved with how a child's mouth will develop. One factor, a factor that many parents never consider, is whether the child is breastfed when it is young or not.
Breastfeeding and the Link to Straight Teeth
Most people never stop to consider how a child's teeth come in. The fact of the matter is that most children will tend to have a palate that is too narrow for the teeth to come in properly. By breastfeeding, the child's palate is exposed to the suction necessary to widen the palate. This in turn helps the teeth to come in properly, and ensures proper alignment when the jaw closes.
Is Bottle Feeding Just as Good?
Given that it is the suction that helps the teeth to come in straight, the natural question is whether giving your child a bottle would have the same effect. After all, suction is involved in using a bottle, too.
Unfortunately, we do not recommend bottle feeding as a replacement for breastfeeding. The motion that the child uses to breastfeed is slightly different than the motion necessary to suckle from a bottle.
Breastfeeding requires a squeezing motion wherein the child presses the nipple against the roof of his or her mouth; in contrast, suckling from a bottle, uses a motion that is more like a piston, and the benefits simply are not the same.
Of course, you may not be able to breastfeed all the time, especially if you are a working mother. However, we recommend that our patients breastfeed as often as possible for the first year of the child's life.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 971-470-0045 today.