Misuse of Sippy Cups

smile-background-finalWhile advancements in pediatric dentistry have equipped dental professionals and parents alike with more information and better tools for helping children maintain good oral health, there is a small percentage of the adolescent population that has reported an increase in cavities. Particularly in 2-5 year olds, the U. S. Surgeon General has identified tooth decay as the most common disease. The dental community believes that the misuse of sippy cups is partly to blame.

For parents of toddlers, introducing the sippy cup provides some welcome relief from the breast or bottle, not to mention the fact that they are “spill-free.” Yet, sippy cups are designed to help toddlers “transition” to using a real cup. While these cups are convenient, especially on the go, most children are using them much longer than they should. In turn, many of these children are sipping on sugared beverages, such as juices and milk. When children drink from sippy cups all throughout the day, their teeth are repeatedly coated with sugars, making them high risk for tooth decay.

Along with the misuse of sippy cups, pediatric dentists also note that many parents are waiting too long before scheduling their child’s first dental appointment. Did you know? A child’s first dentist appointment should occur soon after their first tooth erupts. For some children, this may be around 6-8 months. For others, it may be 18 months. This initial visit allows dentists to take their first look at the child’s teeth, but also provides an opportunity to educate parents on ways to help their child obtain good oral health. Without a doubt, a pediatric dentist would explain the proper usage of a sippy cup.

Your child’s baby teeth are significant. Though they are eventually lost, it is important to keep them clean and healthy. This establishes a healthy foundation for permanent teeth that will replace them.

At Vital Smiles, we believe that it’s vital for all kids, in all communities, from all backgrounds, to have access to quality dental care. If your child uses a sippy cup, or if they have never visited a dentist, we welcome you to call today. Your child’s oral health is directly related to their overall health, and we want your child to develop good habits early that will follow them into adulthood.

Posted on behalf of Vital Smiles

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