Thursday, August 14, 2008

Breastfeeding and Cavities -- AAP says no correlation

I found this a couple weeks ago and thought that it might be useful for others. One of my BG friends said her doc told her to stop night nursing to prevent cavities... but the AAP report didn't find a correlation...

Association Between Infant Breastfeeding and Early Childhood Caries in the United States


These data provide no evidence that breastfeeding or its duration are independently associated with an increased risk for ECC, S-ECC, or a greater number of decayed or filled tooth surfaces among children ages 2 to 5 years in the United States. In contrast, they corroborate that children living in poverty and Mexican American children are at increased risk for poor oral health in the early years, and they indicate that maternal smoking is another such potential risk factor. Clearly, there is a need for more research to identify specific characteristics of poverty and Mexican American ethnicity that contribute to or cause ECC, and the same applies to children prenatally or postnatally exposed to cigarette smoke. Despite the need for more understanding of how these factors may be causally related to ECC, the findings reported do not indicate any reason to delay action to improve the oral health of children. Rather, they highlight the need to target children living in poverty, those who are Mexican American, and those whose mothers smoke or smoked during pregnancy for timely caries risk assessment and regular preventive dental visits.