Around the middle of the first year postpartum, the baby’s teeth begin to emerge. As you anticipate the eruption of your baby’s first teeth, you are not alone in wanting to know how to keep their teeth healthy. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of a baby’s life. Around six months old, complementary foods are introduced. Breast milk continues to be the main source of nutrition for a baby through their first year of life. Many myths about breastfeeding and baby’s teeth health are told to parents, but they are not supported by what science has found.
Fun Fact: Breastfed babies have exposure through breast milk to the variety of flavors from foods in the family’s diet. (1)
After your baby’s first tooth pokes through and no later than their first birthday, it is recommended to make their first dentist appointment.
A baby's primary teeth emerge in a general order during their first year of life, and there can be variation from one baby to another. A combination of factors, including diet, oral hygiene, and bacteria, can influence the development of dental caries. Breastfeeding does not cause dental caries, and breast milk can actually help protect a baby's teeth from decay by depositing calcium and phosphorus onto the enamel. Parents can promote their baby’s healthy teeth development by providing a balanced and nutritious diet, avoiding sugary and processed foods, encouraging good oral hygiene habits, and breastfeeding as long as both the mom and baby desire.