As parents, we all want what’s best for our children. However, with the many commercial products available in the market, it’s easy for us to make bad choices especially regarding children’s toys and feeding products. The sippy cup is a perfect example of a misused baby product. Did you know that it has a lot of damaging effects on children’s teeth?
What Sippy Cups Do to Children’s Teeth
Parents love using sippy cups because of their non-spill feature, which is quite handy, especially for toddlers who just love to throw things. The real purpose of a sippy cup is to help a child transition from a bottle to a real cup, which means that these sippy cups are meant for temporary use only. However, because of their great features and handy design and because kids also like to use them, sippy cups are used for a prolonged period, often spanning several years.
In the home, a child may hold onto a sippy cup as form of comfort, just like holding a favorite toy. If the sippy cup is filled with the toddler’s favorite juice, it’s common for the child to suck on it for a long time to enjoy the beverage. But these are the perfect examples of how sippy cups wreak havoc in the child’s mouth.
When children use sippy cups for a prolonged period, the negative effects that can happen to their teeth are as follows.
- Prolonged exposure to sugar. If the beverage inside the sippy cup is fruit juice or milk, the sugar in these drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay in kids.
- Accumulation of bacteria. Some kids don’t let their parents wash their sippy cups, while some parents forget to wash them. Once the cup has come in contact with a child’s mouth, it becomes a conducive breeding ground for bacteria, especially if it has a straw. This can promote bacterial infection in the gums and teeth.
- Pressure on teeth. The continuous sucking motion on sippy cups and baby bottles can push teeth backward and result in malalignment.
How Can You Avoid Sippy Cup Teeth Damage?
If you don’t want your child to have sippy cup teeth, here are the things you should do:
- Don’t let kids drink on the sippy cup for extended hours. Once the beverage inside the cup is all gone, take it away and wash it.
- Only put water in the sippy cup. To keep kids from getting overexposed to sugar, only let them drink water from a sippy cup. If you’re giving fruit juice, use another kind of bottle like a sports drinking bottle or regular cup.
- Don’t use sippy cups for night time milk. Some kids need a bottle of milk at night to fall asleep, but this is exactly the reason why they have bad teeth. If you let a child suck at a sugary beverage all night, what can you expect?