When everything old is new again....
Back in the 1980s, I followed up on a hint from a friend's father - who was a dentist - that in the 1930s or so, a Dr Temple Fay had noted an association between lack of breastfeeding and malocclusion. With the help of Dr Gerry Hendershot and others, we explored a national data set and found...yep, there was an association of breastfeeding and a lower rate of malocclusion that appeared to be dose related. Today, again, colleagues have assessed the issue, with hands on observation of the bite, and lo, we still see the association, with confirmation of the dose response.
So, do you think we can mention this as another benefit of breastfeeding/risk of not breastfeeding? Orthodonture is expensive....
Breastfeeding and non-nutritive sucking patterns related to the prevalence of anterior open bite in primary dentition
This study evaluated the association between breastfeeding and non-nutritive sucking patterns and the prevalence of anterior open bite in primary tooth development.
Infant feeding and non-nutritive sucking were investigated in a 3-6 year-old sample of 1,377 children, from Sao Paolo. Children were grouped according to breastfeeding duration: non-breastfed, shorter than 6 months, interruption between 6 and 12 months, and longer than 12 months. Three calibrated dentists performed clinical examinations and classified overbite into 3 categories: normal, anterior open bite and deep bite.
Results showed children who were non-breastfed had significantly more chances of having anterior open bite compared with both children who were breastfed, and in the subgroup without history of non-nutritive sucking, with the children that breastfed longest associated with a 3.7 times lower chance of having anterior open bite than non-breastfed children.
CC Romero, H Scavone-Junior, DG Garib, FA Cotrim-Ferreira, and RI Ferreira. Breastfeeding and non-nutritive sucking patterns related to the prevalence of anterior open bite in primary dentition. J Appl Oral Sci, April 1, 2011; 19(2): 161-8.