How Is Your Smile?

I had the privilege of speaking to the La Leche League Southern California/Nevada conference on the 24th in Newport Beach.  The leaders in La Leche League never cease to amaze me with their intelligence, education, passion, and willingness to help.  And breastfeeding is such a basic and important subject.

One of the items I learned is that bottle feeding infants does infant a disservice because they do not have the opportunity to develop their tongues and swallowing properly.  The nipples of baby bottles are too long and emit too much milk for the baby.  This results in the baby not having to exercise the right muscles to obtain the milk, and in the milk not having the chance to stimulate the right digestive enzymes. 

A good oral my0functional therapist (one who teaches a person how to swallow properly and proper use of the tongue) can spot a person who was not breastfed.  In fact, this has happened to me.  Joy Moeller works in my office once per week.  She asked me, after asking me to swallow a couple of times, and without knowing my past history, if I had been nursed as an infant.  In fact I was not.  She could tell.

If you want more information about this, the latest issue of the Journal of the American Orthodontic Society has published an article by Joy.  Many disorders can be related to improper swallowing including headaches and heartburn.   Check out the issue “Spring 2009, pp 22-26.”  Your smile may be helped by this.  If you cannot find this article and want more information, Joy can be reached at

About Cathie Lippman, M.D.

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