Long-term breastfeeding increases your toddler’s risk of cavities, missing teeth
Breastfeeding at age 2 or older increases a child’s risk of severe dental caries by the time they’re 5, independently of how much sugar they get from foods, researchers say.
To investigate the effect of prolonged breastfeeding on children’s teeth, Karen Glazer Peres of the University of Adelaide in Australia and colleagues analyzed data on 1,129 children born in 2004 in Pelotas, Brazil, a community with a public fluoridated water supply.
How much sugar should you be eating? How to follow WHO’s guidelines How much sugar should you be eating? How to follow WHO’s guidelines
The different names for sugar How much sugar are your kids eating? Take a look at 3 new sugar limit guidelines
Sugar is poured on a tablespoon in a photo illustration in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Are sugar limit guidelines based on robust science? This Canadian study says no
A tax on sugary drinks would save 13,000 lives and raise $43B, Canadian study suggests
The different names for sugar Two-thirds of packaged foods in Canada are full of added sugar: Canadian study
Breastfeeding information was collected at birth and when children were 3 months, 1 year and 2 years old. Sugar consumption data was collected at ages 2, 4 and 5.
By age 5, nearly 24 percent of children had severe early childhood caries, which researchers defined as six or more decayed, missing or filled tooth surfaces, according to the report in the journal Pediatrics. Close to half of children had at least one tooth surface affected.
Children who had breastfed for at least two years, which was close to one-quarter of the group, had a higher number of teeth that were decayed, missing or had a filling. Their risk of having severe early childhood caries was also 2.4 times higher compared with those who were only breastfed up to 1 year of age. Breastfeeding for 13 months to 23 months had no effect on dental caries.
To collect data on sugar consumption, the team used a list of food items or food groups consumed the day prior to a clinic visit. At age 2, groups were categorized as “low sugar consumption,” meaning zero or less than twice daily, and “high sugar consumption,” meaning two or more times daily.