Substances in both saliva and breast milk can prevent bacteria from attacking tooth surfaces, asserted Liza Danielsson Niemi in her dissertation at Umeň University earlier this year.

Bacteria gains a foothold on cells by adhering to receptors in the host. Part of the human milk protein - beta-casein and lactoferrin - can halt some streptococci from binding themselves to teeth surfaces. Therefore, mothers' milk protects against colonization of such streptococci, which threaten as a risk factor for caries.


She also pointed out that the presence of "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria in the mouth. Niemi has found that human saliva contains molecules which are able to attract bacteria. Thereupon, using a protein called staterin, saliva can control the adhesion so that bacteria causing infections are prevented while beneficial varieties are encouraged.

Fewer Swedish moms breastfeed: