Helping your child use a sippy cup properly is incredibly important. Sippy cups are an excellent tool to help your child transition from baby bottles to drinking from regular cups, but if used incorrectly, sippy cups can contribute to dental problems such as baby bottle tooth decay. We invite you to call Agua Dental at 956-380-2482 to schedule your child’s visit with Dr. Trent Savage and learn more about using sippy cups in Edinburg, Texas.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children visit the dentist for the first time when their first tooth emerges, or no later than their first birthday. During this first visit, our dentist will review a number of strategies to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy, including the proper use of sippy cups.
Your child should be introduced to sippy cups and encouraged to use them when they are physically able to grasp the cup. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a sippy cup for your child:
- Find a cup with a snap-on or screw-on lid that has a spout but no valve
- Look for a training cup with two handles
- Look for a training cup with a weighted base
Pay close attention to the types of liquids that you put into your child’s sippy cup. While a sippy cup alone will not cause tooth decay, the liquids inside can. Sugary, decay-promoting liquids include breast milk, baby formula, fruit juice, soda and sweetened water. As sippy cups only release a small amount of fluid, the fluids from the liquids in the sippy cup are constantly in your child’s mouth. A sugary or sweetened drink provides a food source for harmful bacteria and leads to the development of cavities.
We recommend filling your child’s sippy cup with water, as this will help them avoid tooth decay. Regular milk is also a good option during meals, though you should refill the cup with plain water after the meal is over. Do not let them keep the sippy cup with them overnight unless it only has water in it.
Your child should begin transitioning away from using sippy cups as soon as they have enough motor control to use an adult-sized cup.
If you have any questions about sippy cup usage or if you want to make an appointment with our dentist, call our office today.