A recent study found that exclusive breastfeeding could protect against malocclusions in children. Malocclusion refers to the misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth.
This new finding continues the good news surrounding breastfeeding, as it has previously been found to have a positive effect with regard to dental development and the susceptibility to oral diseases.
Researchers found that children who were exclusively breastfed up to 6 months had up to 44 percent lower prevalence of open bite versus those who were not breastfed. Open bite refers to when the front teeth, both upper and lower, are forced outwards. In addition, exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months resulted in a 72 percent lower prevalence of moderate to severe malocclusion or misalignment.
The study concluded that to prevent malocclusion, exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months would be effective. Currently, only 38 percent of infants are exclusively breastfed on a global basis.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.