Extending breastfeeding beyond 12 months reduces sugar intake and the risk of tooth decay in children under two years of age.

A research coordinated by a Brazilian researcher concluded that extending breastfeeding beyond 12 months could assist cut back the risk of early childhood caries. This is as a result of these children eat much less sugar than those that stopped breastfeeding early.

The research adopted 800 children born between 2015 and 2016 in the municipality of Cruzeiro do Sul (AS). Jenny Abanto, Ph.D. in pediatric dentistry and first writer of the paper, explains that including sugar to children’s diets is a serious trigger of caries under the age of two, which is exacerbated by the early termination of breastfeeding.

“Babies who’re breastfed for greater than twelve months eat much less sugar. And it’s a scientific consensus that tooth decay is a illness that requires sugar for one purpose solely. And breastfeeding reduces its consumption. Thus, long-term breastfeeding not directly protects towards dental caries.” , he says.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends unique breastfeeding for as much as six months, and for at the very least two years. In observe, in line with the researcher, the longer the length of breastfeeding after the little one completes the first 12 months, the decrease the sugar consumption, and due to this fact the likelihood of caries growth.

“What they’re hoping is that the longer they breastfeed, the extra doubtless that little one is to eat wholesome meals and not eat as a lot sugar.”

According to the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry (IAPD), caries impacts greater than 600 million children worldwide. It can result in persistent ache, infections, and different issues when it happens in early childhood, earlier than the age of six. Both the WHO and the IAPD suggest that children under two years of age keep away from sugar.

While sugar is the foremost perpetrator, tooth decay is a multifactorial illness, explains pediatric dentist Ilana Marques. In addition to a cariogenic food regimen – with extra sugar – oral hygiene, lack of fluoride and saliva can contribute to the illness. In the most extreme circumstances, it could possibly even result in the demise of the affected person.

“At first it seems as white spots, which might flip into yellow spots and then into cavities that may break down the tooth enamel and attain the canal, inflicting an an infection that may be deadly if left untreated.”

According to the researchers, one other necessary conclusion of the work is that if there’s sugar in the food regimen, as some research have proven, breastfeeding for a very long time (after one 12 months) can solely trigger cavities. Breast milk alone can’t have an effect on children’s first enamel, explains Abanto.

“Previous research have proven an affiliation between breastfeeding and dental caries after the first 12 months of life. We additionally noticed such an affiliation, albeit a weak one. Most importantly: this affiliation is expounded to the toddler’s sugar intake, which isn’t noticed in earlier research. It is all the time proven. That is, breast milk alone wouldn’t contribute to the growth of caries, however the sugar already current in the child’s food regimen,” he famous.

“This day by day consumption causes the sugar in the food regimen to alter the construction and composition of the dental plaque, and this plaque turns into extra porous, sticky, which we name cariogenic, and then breast milk naturally happens. doesn’t have an acidogenic potential or causes caries lesions, it modifications its character barely, it could possibly seem in the diploma of risk, even whether it is weak”, he concludes.

Out of 800 children noticed by the researchers, 22.8% had caries, that’s, two out of ten children. In addition, solely 2.8% had by no means ingested the substance earlier than 24 months. Already, two out of three eat sugary meals greater than 5 occasions a day. In the first 12 months of life, solely 7.6% by no means took sugar.

The outcomes of the research have been printed in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.


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