Dental Hygiene ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 12-1-2019


Breastfeeding influences the infant’s oral development in many ways. Lactation care providers work closely with the mother-infant pair and may be the first to provide information on oral health. The purpose of this study is to assess lactation care provider’s perception, attitude and behavior on the relationship between breastfeeding and oral development; including oral malocclusion, breathing patterns, tethered oral tissues and dental caries. A survey sent to lactation care providers who are members of The United States Lactation Consultant Association. A total of 12 members participated in the survey. Of that, 11 were International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and 1 was a Non-IBCLC. The results determined that lactation care providers who responded have resources available to them that describe the relationship between breastfeeding and oral development. However, it was unclear iv whether they receive training on this during their initial training while earning their credentials. Lactation care providers discuss this relationship with their patients more than 50% of the time and state they feel comfortable discussing this relationship. This level of comfort could describe why lactation care providers refer to dental professionals less than 50% of the time. Although, lactation care providers perceive breastfeeding to positively influence the infant’s oral development.

Degree Name

Dental Hygiene

Level of Degree


Department Name

Dental Medicine

First Committee Member (Chair)

Christine Nathe

Second Committee Member

Diana Aboytes

Third Committee Member

Demetra Logothetis




Dental, Dental Hygiene, Lactation Consultant, IBCLC, Breast Milk

Document Type