Study: Long-term breastfeeding leads to more cavities

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Study: Long-term breastfeeding leads to more cavities

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Sergei Bobylev
Breastfeeding.

A study published Friday claims that children who are breastfed for two years or more are more likely to have dental cavities, CNN reported.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed the breastfeeding behaviors and sugar consumption of 1,129 children in the Brazilian city of Pelotas. At age 5 the children visited a dentist and were examined for decayed or missing teeth, CNN reported. Severe cases were defined as a child with six or more cavities.

According to the study, 23.9 percent of the children had severe cavities and 48 percent had at least one tooth affected by a cavity. Children who were breastfed for more than two years had a 2.4 times higher risk of having severe cavities than those who were breastfed for less than a year, the study said.

The study also found a correlation between socioeconomic traits and frequency of cavities, CNN reported. Low-income families and mothers with limited education had children with more cavities, the study revealed.

Fluoride in water can prevent tooth decay, CNN reported. Pelotas has had a fluoridated water supply since 1962.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding babies for a year. The World Health Organization adds that the length can be extended up to two years.

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