Dental Checkup

Breastfeeding & Jaw Development

Much of our jaw development happens at a very early age. Our childhood habits and even our parents' decisions can significantly impact how our teeth look and function in adulthood. One of our goals at Dental Healing Arts is to educate parents about the small things they could be doing to protect the future of their children's oral health. We also strive to catch potential issues early enough to avoid extensive dental procedures in the future.

Request Appointment

How Breastfeeding Affects Jaw Development

It's astounding to think about, but nearly half of all children will require braces at some point in their childhood. There are many genetic factors at play, but did you know that even feeding habits in infancy can significantly influence whether or not your kids will need braces?

Breastfeeding v. Bottle

The bones in the human body are very soft and malleable during those early developmental years, which allows them to grow and stretch as children age. This malleability extends to the jaw.

When a child breastfeeds, the tongue is pressed against the soft palate at the roof of their mouth and down on their front teeth. Research suggests that this motion encourages healthy jaw development while the bones are still soft.  

Bottle feeding, on the other hand, does not trigger this natural motion. This makes children much more susceptible to dental misalignments and increases their chances of needing orthodontic care in the future.  

What To Avoid While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for both you and your child. With the right precautions and guidance, you can ensure that your dental care goals remain safe and aligned with your breastfeeding journey.

Local Anesthetics

When it comes to dental procedures, it's essential to choose the right local anesthetics. While Lidocaine, Mepivacaine, and Prilocaine are generally safe for nursing mothers, Bupivacaine and Articaine should be approached with caution due to limited safety data.

Pain Medications

For pain relief while breastfeeding, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) are typically safe options. However, be cautious with Naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), Codeine, and Oxycodone. Aspirin and Hydrocodone should be avoided.

Antibiotics

Amoxicillin is considered safe during breastfeeding, but Clindamycin and Tetracyclines (such as Doxycycline and Minocin) should be avoided. Use antibiotics like Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, and Cephalexin with caution.

Sedatives

Sedatives like Valium are not recommended while breastfeeding due to potential risks to your infant.

Medication Timing

Taking medications right after a feeding is advisable, especially for once-a-day medications. If a medication requires multiple doses per day, administer it immediately after a feeding.

Dental Materials

Concerns about the toxicity of dental materials, such as amalgam (Mercury) fillings, should be addressed carefully. Mercury exposure, even in trace amounts, is associated with various health risks, and infants, in particular, are considered more vulnerable to its effects.  

Some individuals worry about the possible transfer of mercury to their nursing infant through breast milk. To address these concerns, we choose alternative filling materials to offer additional peace of mind to mothers and ensure the safety of both mother and child.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

  • Decrease the risk of malocclusion
  • Less likely to need braces in the future
  • Encourages healthy jaw development

Learn More About Breast Feeding and Jaw Development

Our team is always excited to educate our patients about the little things we can all be doing to improve the long-term oral health of every member of the family. Call our office today and schedule a visit to discuss how to optimize the dental health of your child!  

Customized Treatments Using a Natural Approach

Make an Appointment

A Natural Approach to Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

Your Holistic Dentist in Jupiter, FL

Dr. Ilona Fotek

Meet the Dentist