Today, parents are more particular in taking care of their children’s teeth. Still, it comes as a surprise when they find out that their toddlers actually have cavities during their dental checkups.
Cavities and rotten teeth are on the rise. Experts and current researches suggest that sippy cups containing sweet, sugary drinks are to be blamed.
Misconception about Sippy Cups
"Sippy cups were created to help children transition from a bottle to drinking from a regular cup, but they’re too often used for convenience," says American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s (AAPD) former President Philip H. Hunke, D.D.S.
Sippy cups prevent spills — that means lesser change of clothes and lesser spills on beds and mess on sofas. That’s why parents would often let their children use them over extended periods of time (or worse, for years), rather than the purpose for which they’re intended.
Don’t let your toddler walk around the whole day with a sippy cup, unless they only contain water. When kids take sips of fruit juices and other sweetened fluids for longer periods of time, they’re exposed to a higher risk of decay.
These are several guidelines on sippy cup use from the AAPD:
- Use sippy cups to help children switch from a bottle to a cup. It shouldn’t be used for a long period of time - it’s neither a feeding bottle nor a pacifier.
- Unless being used at mealtime, the sippy cup should only be filled with water. Frequent drinking of any other liquid, even if diluted, from a bottle or no-spill training cup should be avoided.
- If your child still uses a sippy cup to help him go to sleep, fill it only with water.
It’s advised that children be weaned off the bottle as soon as they turn one year old. After that, parents should offer their child a cup instead.
It’s important that parents instill proper oral hygiene early. True, it’s difficult to see our children get uneasy with avoiding sippy cups or unhealthy snacks. But seeing them suffer from painful tooth decays and gum diseases is surely a lot harder.