The prolonged use of sippy cups can contribute to baby bottle tooth decay. Samuel Yee DDS INC has provided this page of information about sippy cups to help you determine when and how to use them most effectively. Call us at 949-831-3111 to make your appointment with Dr. Samuel Yee DDS in Aliso Viejo, California, and for more information about how sippy cups can affect your child’s oral health.
Sippy cups are an excellent tool for transitioning between baby bottles and regular drinking glasses. As they are incredibly effective in preventing spills and leaks, many parents continue to use sippy cups for their children into that later toddler years. This has led to an increase in baby bottle cavities between the ages of 2 and 5.
Sippy cups should be introduced when the child can physically hold them. The child should stop using sippy cups as soon as they have enough motor control for regular cups. This usually occurs about one year of age. When using a sippy cup, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:
- Do not fill the cup with sugary liquids. Stick with water whenever possible.
- Do not let the child keep the sippy cup. Remove it after they have finished drinking.
- Do not let the child take the sippy cup to bed unless it contains only water.
- Do not use sippy cups to comfort a distressed or fussy child.
- Clean the sippy cup frequently to avoid germs.
- Only give your child sugary liquids and mealtimes when saliva production is at its highest levels. Brush or clean your child’s teeth after.
The American Dental Association has provided the following guidelines for choosing a sippy cup:
- Avoid “no-spill” valves – these do not advance the child’s sipping. Rather, they only release a tiny amount of liquid, ensuring that sugars swill around the mouth more frequently.
- Choose a spout – cups with snap-on or screwing lids with a spout are preferable, as they promote good drinking habits.
- Choose cups with 2 handles – sippy cups are transitional devices. Larger, more adult-sized cups require the use of two hands, and your child will become used to holding cups more easily if they are using a cup with two handles.
For more information about sippy cup usage and to schedule your child’s appointment with our dentist, call our office today.