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Posted on 6/5/2015 by William Moore
|Does your toddler drink out of a sippy cup? It can be a great convenience, there is no doubt about it, however, it can also be very bad for his teeth in the long run. The sippy cup was actually invented to be a transition from the bottle to the "big kid" cup, not a long-term solution. Unfortunately, today many parents have come to rely on the spill proof cup, especially in today's world of constantly being on the go.
Parents today do not have time to deal with spills or to make their child wait until they are at home and sitting at the table to have a drink. Instead, they embrace the convenience of the sippy cup, all while doing damage to their child's teeth.
Whys is the Sippy Cup Bad?The sippy cup is bad for several reasons: it promotes tooth decay; may cause crooked teeth; and can even impede a child's speech. Today, the use of a sippy cup is considered just as bad as the thumb sucking habit. If you can picture the top of a sippy cup sitting in a child's mouth, you can see how it displaces the tongue, which may push the teeth forward.
This can cause problems with your child's tooth placement later in life; it can also cause problems with articulation of certain words. In addition, many children use the sippy cup like a bottle - they lay back and drink until the liquid is gone. This furthers the damage that the sippy cup can cause. That liquid that is in the sippy cup is also sitting on your child's teeth, rather than being swallowed. If you are giving him anything but water, you are allowing sugar to reside on his teeth, putting him at risk for tooth decay.
Let the Sippy Go
Summertime is the perfect time to give up this habit as you are able to spend time outside. Rather than worrying about the spills in your house, introduce the "big kid" cup outside. Let your toddler experiment with it and learn how it works while playing out in the yard or sitting at his picnic table in the backyard. When there is less stress on a child to learn to master a new technique, he will be better able to handle it. On those long, hot summer days, put water in a cup and let him see how it works. If he spills, the worst case scenario is that he gets cooled off!
Only Drink Water
The key component here, whether your child is drinking out of a bottle, sippy cup, or regular cup is to drink just water. Any other drink has high sugar content which promotes tooth decay. Instead of allowing that sugar to sit on his teeth, let him wash it away with water. If he is going to drink juice or milk, serve it in a regular cup with a straw. This allows the liquid to go directly down his throat, rather than washing all over his teeth.
If you have not taken the plunge to quit the sippy cup yet, summer is the perfect time. Spend plenty of time outside with your child and let him figure out how a real cup works. There is much less stress when you are not worried about getting the house dirty or even your child's clothes wet. When he is outside in the hot sun, a little water down his chest might actually feel good! By summer's end, your child should be able to manage having a drink out of a real cup - everyone wins!
If you need help getting your child off of the sippy cup - call us at (503) 438-7145 for some tips today!
The seasons of sports is upon us, with Little League and soccer well under way. If your child plays sports it can be a really exciting time for him, but his teeth might not think the same way. If your child's team has a habit of providing snacks after the game to reward the kids for a job well done, you can do your part by requesting that the snacks be healthy choices, rather than sugar filled drinks and candies that only promote tooth decay. After your child works hard at playing a sport, the last thing his body needs is sugar - instead, it needs the proper nutrients to refuel after his activities. In addition, how you feed your child before and even after his big game will have an impact not only on his physical health, but his oral health too.
Give Adequate Vitamins and Nutrients
When your child plays sports he has a greater need for more vitamins and nutrients than normal. Whether it is an all-day event or just a quick game of soccer, he will be using up nutrients in his body that will need to be replenished. Even though your child will likely naturally consume adequate food to get the energy he needs, it does not hurt to know what will help him perform the best.
After Game Snacks
One of the hardest things to manage is the team snack after a child's game. It has become a ritual for many teams to provide "rewards" for a job well done. While we all want to keep our children's spirits up while they play sports, we do not want to damage their oral health as a result. Rather than opting for the traditional cookies, candy or chips, opt for healthier versions of a reward.
We suggest a few of the following snack choices to your team:
If your team only wants to provide items that are seen as a reward, consider non-food rewards to avoid doing damage to your children's teeth - we don't see that as much of a reward!
Summer is a great time for sports, but do not forget about protecting your child's oral health. You are your child's largest advocate, so make sure to watch what he eats and drinks on a regular basis in order to keep his oral health in good standing. Of course, continue to see us on a regular basis, and keep up his oral hygiene habits in order to further enhance his oral health.
If your child is in need of an appointment for a checkup, please call us at (503) 438-7145.