sippy cupThe American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children visit the dentist for the first time as soon as their first tooth erupts or no later than their first birthday. One of the things our dentists will review with you during this initial visit is your child’s use of sippy cups.

Helping your child use their sippy cup properly is incredibly important. Sippy cups are a great tool to help your child transition from baby bottles to regular cups, but if used incorrectly, they can contribute to a number of dental problems, including baby bottle tooth decay.

Your child should start using sippy cups when they are physically able to grasp the cup. Be careful when choosing your child’s sippy cup, as not all sippy cups are created equal. Here are a few tips to help you find the best cup for your child. Look for a sippy cup with:

When filling up your child’s sippy cup, pay close attention to the types of liquids. While a sippy cup alone does not cause tooth decay, the liquids inside can. Liquids that promote tooth decay include breast milk, baby formula, fruit juice, soda and sweetened water. As sippy cups only release a small amount of fluid at a time, those fluids are constantly in your child’s mouth. A sugary or sweet liquid will be a food source for harmful bacteria and lead to the development of cavities. We recommend filling your child’s sippy cup with water. Regular milk is also a good option during meals, though we do recommend that you refill the cup with plain water after the meal is over. Also, avoid letting your child keep their sippy cup with them overnight unless it has water in it.

As soon as your child has enough motor control to use a regular cup, you should begin encouraging them to stop using their sippy cup.

For more information about sippy cup use and to make an appointment with our dentists, please contact our office today.