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Dentistry At Somerset

Sippy Cups Can Contribute to Decay and Deformation. Learn Why You Should Transition Kids Quickly.

When it comes to your toddler’s health and safety, dental care should not be overlooked or underestimated. Proper oral hygiene from a young age can set your child up for dental success in the future. Children should see a dentist as early as 6 months, or at the eruption of the first tooth.  But while we may remember to teach our children about seeing a dentist and daily brushing, it’s also important to remember that the cup choices we make for our children will also impact their dental health in the future.

Sippy cups should be used as transitions to normal cups,not as replacements

The idea of transitioning a child from bottles to sippy cups seems like a logical choice and the next step in the evolution of their growth. However, sippy cups have actually been proven to cause more negative long-term effects than the short-term convenience they promote. Unlike a woman’s nipple, the hard, sippy cup lid doesn’t allow for deformation, forcing the child’s teeth and mouth to form around the lid, preventing normal development of the mouth. In our mouths, the tongue acts as a counterforce against the pressure of our cheeks against our teeth. If a sippy cup is used long term in a child, i.e. longer than 2-3 months, the tongue does not learn it’s natural, relaxed position in the mouth. This deformation will result in the teeth forming around the lip of the sippy cup, pushing them together and forward, leading not only to overcrowding but also an overbite. Physically, this affects the child not only on an aesthetic level, but also causes breathing and eating issues. At this point, the mouth is usually unable to close and stay closed on its own causing dry mouth and mouth breathing, instead of the normal nasal breathing.

Switch right away to normal cups

When you start to move your child from the bottle, skip the sippy cups altogether. Although it be might be messy at the beginning, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your child will learn to use the cup without spilling, sometimes as quickly as a few days.

Sippy cups can lead to dental decay in your child

The type of liquid used in sippy cups can also lead to premature decay, such as cavities, in your child’s teeth. Sippy cups used long term tend to be converted to a sense of comfort for the child, and depending on the liquids consumed, may lead to premature tooth decay. Teach your child to drink water throughout the day, instead of sugary drinks such as pop, fruit juices, and sugary water. If and when you do give your child a sugary drink, try to limit the quantity as well as monitor when they drink it. Smaller portions of different liquids are better not only for their oral health but for their overall health. Try to encourage sugary drink consumption only during mealtimes, as saliva production will already be increased allowing the mouth to wash away a lot of the acid and bacteria. For more information, please call Ames family dentist, Dentistry At Somerset at 515-817-1493.