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Can You Oil Pull While Breastfeeding?

A lot of people ask, "Is it safe to oil pull while pregnant or nursing?" Before reading, please keep this in mind: before you do anything, check with your healthcare provider. But in general, oil pulling is a very gentle form of detoxing.

How does oil pulling work?

Any toxins pulled out of your mouth during oil pulling leave your mouth when you spit out the oil. This process 'skips' any toxins from taking the 'normal' path through the bloodstream. Even so, the bloodstream does not crossover into breastmilk.

What is the best oil to use?

The more pure and alkaline the oil, the better. That's why we recommend Skinny Coconut Oil. It's the only alkaline coconut oil on the market today and it's 100% pure. Coconut oil also has the effect of being naturally anti-microbial. Read our full review here.

Tongue Tie Procedure Helps Babies Nurse

"Hi I'm Brittany, I'm one of Dr. Reese's assistants here at Indianapolis Dentistry.

I have Hadley here with me. She is 7 weeks old. We did a frenuloplasty and a tongue tie procedure two weeks ago. What Dr. Reese did was to take a look at her the day before and noticed that her tongue was tied and also her lip was pretty far down on her gum line.

Dr. Reese recommended that since we were doing the tongue tie that we go ahead and do the lip tie as well. We did that on a Thursday.

We see a lot of patients that we do the procedures on where the mom will hold the baby and then we have the assistants help out with everything else.

It's a very effective procedure for breastfeeding. There are moms who have trouble with babies latching on or even pain sometimes with breastfeeding and they don't know it, but tongue ties or lip ties can be the problem. They don't talk about it in classes or they don't mention it in the lactation department. Pediatricians might mention it to get it clipped there at the office, but the laser (I feel like) is a lot better procedure. There is:

  • less bleeding
  • faster healing time
  • better overall for the baby

We do see a lot of patients. The youngest we've seen is a 2-week old and we've even seen a 2-year old. Obviously the babies are easier to work with, but we do see a lot of babies and I definitely do recommend it for breastfeeding moms to definitely take a look at it after the baby is born and find out if they have a lip or tongue tie. If you don't know what it is, you can always have the nurses or your pediatrician check it in the hospital or at their follow-up appointment."

The Effect of Breastfeeding on Early Childhood Cavities

There has been some controversy about the effect of breastfeeding on early childhood cavities. Most have the belief that breastfeeding, particularly at night, is just like letting a baby sleep with a milk bottle. The pediatric and dental associations have divided opinions on this matter.

Different Opinions on Effect of Breastfeeding on Early Childhood Cavities

The Canadian Dental Association supports breastfeeding as it provides nutritional benefits to the infant and is recognized as an effective preventive health measures. In the absence of daily oral hygiene care, breastfeeding is one of the many risk factors that may contribute to the development of dental caries. Therefore, it is vital that mouth cleaning or tooth brushing be part of the daily routine for all infants, including those who are breastfed. CDA Board of Directors - Approved June 2013 Source: CDA Board of Directors, Does Breastfeeding Increase Risk of Early Childhood Caries, JCDA, June 2013, Vol 79, No 5, pg 280-281.

“Breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best development and psychosocial outcomes for the infant.” American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)

Infants who are strictly breastfed are more resistant to tooth decay. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)

The potential for early childhood caries exists for the breastfed child and is related to the extended and repetitive feeding times with prolonged exposure of teeth to fermentable carbohydrate without appropriate oral hygiene measures. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)

"Ad libitum nocturnal breastfeeding should be avoided after the first primary tooth begins to erupt. If the infant falls asleep while feeding, the teeth should be cleaned before placing the child in bed." Ad libitum means at will, or on cue. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)

If your child needs a comforter between regular feedings, at night, or during naps, give the child a clean pacifier recommended by your dentist or physician. American Dental Association

The AAPD recognizes the need for further scientific research regarding the effects of breastfeeding and the consumption of human milk on dentofacial growth and oral health. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)


The Link Between Breastfeeding and Early Childhood Cavities

The Effect of Breastfeeding on Early Childhood Cavities

It is easy to blame breastfeeding as a cause of early childhood cavities but a link has not been made between the two. According to the Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

These data provide no evidence to suggest that breastfeeding or its duration are independent risk factors for early childhood caries, severe early childhood caries, or decayed and filled surfaces on primary teeth.

Establishing the Link: Did the Generations Before Formula was Made Suffer from Early Childhood Cavities?

Before formula was invented, every baby was breastfed. Studies of dental records dating from historic times show very little proof that tooth decay existed, even though it is assumed that babies went through prolonged breastfeeding even experiencing night feeding, suckling at their mothers’ breasts.

Breastfeeding is different from Bottle Feeding

Sucking on the bottle is different from sucking on the breast. When a baby sucks on a bottle, the milk is released in front of the mouth and swishes its way around the teeth. When a baby is breastfed, nipple is drawn far back into the mouth to be able to suck it properly, releasing milk into the oral cavity to the throat, stimulating the baby to swallow. Furthermore, nightfeeding on a bottle allows continuous flow of milk while milk won’t flow from the breast unless a baby actively sucks on the breast.

Dental Care for Babies: Identifying Contributors to Early Childhood Cavities

Following the dental care tips for babies endorsed by the American Dental Association together with identifying causative factors of tooth decay in babies can prevent caries to form.

Sugar intake is big causative factor. Once your baby starts feeding on solids, it is recommended that he drinks water every after meal and that you clean the insides of his mouth with a damp washcloth. Once teeth come out, brushing should be done.

Dental Health Promotion

Whether you child is breastfed or not, it is essential that you start bringing them to a dentist as early as possible. This is for a routine dental check-up, allowing your dentist to get a baseline on your baby’s primary teeth, whether they are growing correctly and even to check for tongue ties. Dr. Ted Reese is an Indianapolis dentist who does pediatric cleanings (kids get a toy and a special bag with their own toothbrush and toothpaste) to prevent cavities, frenectomies for children with tongue or lip ties, and traditional or ceramic braces for teens and pre-teens. He practices minimally-invasive dentistry to make it as pain-free as possible (there are also various sedation modalities that can be used) for your child. You can schedule an appointment by calling 317-882-0228.

Dental Care for Babies

Do babies need dental care? When should a toddler first go to the dentist? Being a parent and worrying about your child is a full-time job! As your Indianapolis family dentist, it's our job to give you preventive dental care reminders about how to care for your child's developing teeth and gums. Below are some tips on good oral care for your child from the American Dental Association, plus the scoop on thumbsucking and teething. You might want to post these on your refrigerator or in a handy place so your family and babysitters can also see them.

  • Never allow a baby or toddler to fall asleep with a bottle that contains milk, formula, fruit juices, sweetened liquids or a pacifier dipped in sugar or honey. Even diluted sweet drinks can be damaging.
  • Infants should finish their bedtime or naptime bottle (or breastfeeding) before going to bed.  Dental Care for Babies
  • Wipe the baby's gums with a wet gauze pad or with a washcloth or towel after each feeding.
  • Begin brushing your child's teeth with water as soon as the first tooth appears.
  • To reduce the chances of tooth decay, children should be encouraged to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Your child's first dental visit should occur within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the baby's first birthday.
  • Aggressive thumbsucking may cause problems with children's primary (baby) teeth, so please mention to me on your next visit if your child has this habit. Dr. Reese can check his or her mouth for any changes and give you techniques to help curb thumbsucking.
  • As baby teeth erupt, your child may become fussy, sleepless or irritable. One way to comfort your baby is to gently massage the gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a clean, wet gauze pad, washcloth or towel.

As always, we are here to answer your oral health questions, so please feel free to call our office at 317-882-0228 to schedule your first "well-baby" dental check-up. We are located just north of Greenwood, Indiana in Southport on US 31.

Tongue Tied Infants--Is an in-office procedure safe?

Below is an example of a tongue tied baby before and after the procedure. Refer to the doctor and your lactation consultant for post-op care.

Infant with Ankyloglossia - After

In the past decade, breastfeeding has become a more popular feeding method in the everyday care of an infant. However, this also causes a renewed interest in the commonly quoted "tongue tied" difficulty experienced among newborns. Professionally noted as ankyloglossia, a child with shortened connections between the tongue and floor of the mouth will most likely experience several difficulties in breastfeeding. This can range from poor latch to sore nipples to continual feeding cycles. Several studies (1,2,3,4,5) have been conducted and proved to show an improvement in breastfeeding once the procedure was performed on the infant. However, it has become incredibly difficult to find a doctor or nurse who is willing to operate this simple surgery on a baby.

Due to other doctor's own insecurities in accurately performing this easy, yet uncommon procedure, mothers are often denied their request. While doctor's are often willing to make anterior ties, they usually refuse to do posterior and or lip ties. This simple surgery takes less than five minutes and causes little to no pain or complications thereafter, mothers are often left traveling great distances in order to find a doctor willing to simply make a small incision of the labial frenulum. However, the Indianapolis Center for Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry offers this safe and virtually painless surgery among its own repertoire. With Dr. Reese's skill and precision, Indianapolis Dentistry can help your tongue tied baby in no time and prevent the hassle of searching for and traveling to another doctor out of state.

The procedure is usually performed with a local anesthetic and can involve either clipping or the use of a special laser, which causes little or no bleeding because the laser seals the ends of the blood vessels in the area as it cuts. The laser also will seal nerve endings, reducing pain after the procedure. However, laser treatment does take longer than simply anesthetizing and clipping so patients will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with the mother to ensure the best treatment for the child. There is also a private waiting room in the back of our office for you and your family to wait and nurse in private if you prefer to do that before or after the procedure. For more information, contact the office at 317-882-0228.