There has been a limit on how long you should AT LEAST breastfeed your newborn but the question of till when is still debated. Seems like scientists have found a mark now.
As Zee News reported, breastfeeding your baby for more than 2 years can increase their likelihood of getting cavities later in life. And by later, we mean by the age of 5.
Researchers in Brazil analyzed 1000 babies from their birth till they were 5 years old based on their breastfeeding habits and sugar consumption. At age of 5, they were examined closely for tooth decay, caries, missing teeth, primary teeth and complete overall dental health. After a thorough checkup, the researchers concluded that among the children who were breastfed for 2 years or longer had 2.4 times higher risk of getting cavities or severe early childhood caries (SECC) by the time they turned 5.
The research also stated that there was no such connection for children who were breastfed for 13-23 months.
There are some reasons associated with such results. The base of which states that children who breastfeed after 2 years are generally those who need to have milk on demand or during night time. Both of them, especially nocturnal breastfeeding makes it difficult for the mothers to take extra care of their teeth. Therefore, if you do decide to extend breastfeeding after 2 years wiping your child’s teeth with a moist cloth and brushing their teeth 2 times a day with a peasized amount of toothpaste might help.
Another study published around 2 years also reported similar findings. (1)
Breastfeeding does have some amazing benefits which should not be ignored like keeping allergies, asthma at bay, increasing immunity, lowering the risk of SIDS, lowering obesity later in life etc. (2) But the benefits of extended breastfeeding still needs some more research.