More than Two years of Breastfeeding can increase risk of cavities: Research

More than Two years of Breastfeeding can increase risk of cavities: Research

Benefits of breastfeeding have been stressed upon by health experts over past many decades but how long should women breastfeed their children has been debatable. A new research conducted in Brazil has found that breastfeeding for more than two years increases the risk of cavities among children. The research team checked dental health for 1,000 kids in Brazil and found that risk of cavities was 2.4 times higher for children breastfed for more than two years. The research has been published in journal Pediatrics.

Earlier studies have shown that breastfeeding improves immunity, lowers risk of asthma and childhood obesity. Breastfeeding has also been associated with a better dental bite among children. Breastfeeding offers many benefits and improves the emotional bonding between mother and child.

Study lead author Dr. Karen Peres, an associate professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia said, “Children who are exposed to breast-feeding beyond 24 months are usually those breastfed on demand and at night. This habit makes it “very difficult to clean teeth in this specific period.” The study team checked children at age of 5 and found that kids who were breastfed for more than 24 months, had much higher risk of cavities. Dental health is important for children.

Among 1,000 children examined by the research team, 23.9 percent had severe cavities. The study team found that 48 percent of kids had at least one tooth affected by a cavity.

Many health experts suggest breastfeeding between one and two years of age is good for child. Mothers should also introduce other diets for kids at appropriate age. WHO guidelines suggest that kids can be breastfed up to two years of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding babies for a year.