There are so many milestones that babies will go thorough as they grow, with the transition from bottle to cup being one of them. To help children master this new skill, most parents turn to training cups, or "sippy" cups. It's important to remember their oral health as you decide what step to take next.
HE OR SHE considered tooth order closely when developing the Dental-Care Sippy Cup, designing a unique straw, with a “small wing” to help babies uniformly distribute the applied force while they are sucking. This novel approach helps to reduce the pressure on each tooth and the jaw, so that baby's teeth can grow in a healthy way.
Children can be introduced to a sippy cup before they are one year old, and we suggest phasing out the bottle between the ages of 12 and 24 months. Use a sippy cup as the source for all liquids at that age, and only when your child is thirsty and at mealtime to avoid overdrinking. The transition from a sippy cup to a regular cup should be a swift one.
The best first option in a sippy cup between meals is water. Milk or juice should be offered at mealtimes when saliva production increases and helps neutralize the effects of these drinks on young teeth. And don't let your child go to sleep with anything other than water—falling asleep with a cup filled with milk, juice, or other sugary drinks means these liquids stay in the mouth overnight. Finally, while a sippy cup is convenient and portable, don't let your young child walk and sip at the same time to avoid injuries.
Look for a cup without a one-way valve: Sippy cups are often marketed as "spill-proof," meaning that the cup has a one-way valve to prevent leakage, however, in order for the child to get any liquid from the cup, they still need to suck, as opposed to sip. Keeping in mind that the objective of a training cup is to shift away from sucking, it is best to purchase a cup without this valve.
Cups with two handles and a weighted base will help your child keep the cup steady and upright while they master the motor skills needed to raise the cup and sip.
Now that you have your ideal cup, it's time to introduce it! A few things to think about during this exciting time:
Limit beverages that are not water to mealtimes only: Juices and other non-water beverages that are consumed on the go are more likely to cause cavities because they are not being consumed with food. With meals, your child is chewing and salivating, which helps wash away and neutralize acids that may otherwise remain on their teeth.
Kids are famous for not looking where they are going....for this reason, it is advised to be sure your child is seated when using their cup. Dental and facial injuries are all too common in toddlers who fall with a sippy cup in their mouths.
The training cups are meant to be a transitional tool: Introduce small, regular cups as they become more proficient so their tongue and other muscles used to drink and swallow become used to the pattern and positions needed to do so.
Drinking from a sippy cup for long periods of time has similar effects to putting your baby to bed with a bottle. The sugars in both milk and juice combine with bacteria to create enamel-eroding bacteria. When babies fall asleep with bottles, the fluid pools around their teeth and slowly erodes their enamel throughout the night—leading to painful tooth decay (also known as caries).
Drinking from a sippy cup all day has a similar effect. When a child drinks from a sippy cup, they immerse their top six teeth. Depending on what's in their cup, they could be constantly covering those top teeth with sugar. Dental caries may soon follow, which can result in uncomfortable swelling and infection, and even triple their likelihood of developing cavities in their adult teeth.
We understand how convenient sippy cups can be during the early stages of your child's development, but we'd encourage you to use them as a temporary step on the way to using of a regular cup. Some children quickly learn how to manage a regular cup and skip the use of a sippy cup altogether.
If your child does need the help of a sippy cup when transitioning from a bottle, keep the following in mind:
Don't allow your child to use their sippy cup throughout the day. Reserve this for snacks and mealtime.
If they want to drink sugary beverages, encourage them to use a straw. This ensures the sugary liquid misses the teeth as they're drinking.
Visit your child's dentist early and often. They should have their first dental appointment by the time they get their first tooth or reach the age of one.
Sippy cups were designed to be a transitional step from bottle drinking to drinking from a regular cup. Although sippy cups prevent unwanted spills that may arise as they're transitioning from a bottle, prolonged use can lead to a host of problems for their growing smile. Despite this, many children end up drinking from sippy cups for months or even years until they are encouraged to begin using a regular cup. Correct use is still exceptionally important for babies. Have more questions? Feel free to contact us! Or would you care for our products? Click here for a free quote!