Ensuring Breastfed Infants Have Enough Vitamin D
Among United States women of childbearing age (20 to 44), a national study revealed which percentage are vitamin D deficient?
Inadequate levels of vitamin D during rapid phases of enamel formation (in utero for primary dentition, and post-natal for permanent dentition) increase the risk of interruptions in the enamel matrix, which can lead to defects, such as enamel hypoplasia.
While caries is a multifactorial process, vitamin D-deficient infants have a greater risk for developing enamel defects, thus increasing caries risk.
Infants born to vitamin D-deficient mothers are at decreased risk for enamel hypoplasia.
What percentage of new mothers attempt to breastfeed?
While prenatal providers and pediatricians are the primary prescribers of vitamin D treatment regimens, dental teams should also be current with vitamin D supplementation recommendations.
In how many states do dental hygienists have expanded functions that include providing services in medical settings, federally funded centers, public health offices, community health centers, and clinics?
Early interventions—such as prescribing vitamin D supplements and recognizing risk factors for caries—are essential to promoting positive oral and overall health outcomes for the infant.
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