Did you know baby bottles and sippy cups can affect your child’s dental health? It’s true! While it is okay for your baby to drink from these, parents must know a few things about what they put in it and how it can affect your child’s oral health. Also called the baby bottle effect or nursing bottle syndrome, many dentists blame the use of sippy cups and baby bottles for increased tooth cavities in toddlers and preschoolers. Wondering what’s wrong with sippy cups and baby bottles? Read on to find out more about them!
Why are Sippy Cups and Baby Bottles to Blame for Your Child’s Cavities?
Before you wonder if you made a mistake buying your little one the best baby bottle or sippy cup, let’s make this clear– it is ‘how’ you use them that increases your child’s risk of developing tooth cavities. Use of bottles and sippy cups can increase the risk of tooth decay depending on:
- What you put in them;
- How long your child has been using them for
- When does your child use them
- Whether oral hygiene instructions are followed after consuming the drinking from sippy cups and/or bottle;
Did you know that sippy cups are encouraged only to allow a child’s smooth transition from bottle-feeding to drinking from a cup independently without spilling, after one year of age. It should not be used as an alternative to bottle-feeding. However, due to the convenience they offer, many parents use these for longer than they should, risking tooth decay in their children. Infact, extended use of sippy cups can also affect speech development and eating habits in your child.
When the sugary drink in the baby’s sippy cup comes in direct contact with the child’s teeth, it begins eroding enamel and decreases salivary flow, both of which increase the risk of bacterial attack and tooth decay.
Do Bottles Cause Tooth Decay?
Baby bottles are used very commonly by parents during their child’s first year after birth. The nipple of the bottle enables your baby to suck on to it and get milk. However, when the bottle contains liquids other than breast milk, it increases your child’s risk for tooth decay, due to high sugar content..
Baby bottles and sippy cups can cause tooth decay when parents put their children to bed with them with anything but water in it. If your child goes to bed with a bottle or sippy cup, clean their teeth and gums with a soft wet cloth or a brush.
What is the Right Way to Use Sippy Cups and Baby Bottles for your Child?
Sippy cups and baby bottles are convenient but should be used in the best way possible. Most dentists and pediatric dentists recommend putting water in the baby bottle or sippy cups to prevent tooth cavities. If your child is drinking a sweetened drink in their bottle or cup, remember to clean their gums and teeth after they are done.
It is also not a good idea to give your child a sippy cup or baby bottle before bedtime to avoid prolonged contact with sugar with their teeth. You must remember that sippy cups and bottles should be used only during the transition from breastfeeding. It is recommended to move your
child to a regular cup as soon as they are ready. Does your child have a bedtime bottle or sippy cup habit? It’s time to break it with water immediately.
How to prevent tooth decay while using sippy cups and baby bottles
Worried about your child’s habit of using baby bottles or sippy cups? Well, here are some tips to help your child switch to a regular cup and reduce sippy cups’ affect on your child’s teeth:
- Choose the right training cup
There are plenty of sippy cups available in the market today. Choosing the wrong sippy cup can make it inconvenient for your child to drink the liquid. The idea is to train your child to sip and not suck.
- Avoid sugary drinks in the cups
The best liquid to give your child in their sippy cup is water. Avoid juices, milk, or sweetened drinks.
- Teach your child to not walk around with the cup
It is common to see children walk around with sippy cups or bottles. This can injure their teeth and mouth tissues.
- Do not let your child go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup
One of the main reasons why bottles or sippy cups cause tooth decay is because children sleep with a pool of milk around their teeth after drinking from them.
- Limit using sippy cups during meal times.
- Encourage brushing after drinking from bottles/ sippy cups.
- Mention here how sippy cups affect speech development?
While sippy cups and baby bottles make life easy, you need to monitor how your child uses them. The best way to protect your child’s oral health is to schedule a pediatric dentist consultation when your child’s first tooth erupts. Visiting the dentist early helps establish good oral hygiene habits, including the proper way to use sippy cups and baby bottles. Book your appointment with the top pediatric dentists in Dubai at Shams Dental Clinics today!