Are Sippy Cups Bad for My Child?
Increased Enamel Exposure
Drinking out of a sippy cup causes liquids to constantly coat the surfaces around the front teeth. As a result, those teeth experience longer periods of acid exposure from liquids like milk or juice. Teeth then begin to decay quickly, with several cavities all in the same area. Keeping the cup filled with milk or juice where it is accessible throughout the day will compound the problem.
Changes in Bite Patterns
Rather than drinking from a standard cup, your child must place his lips and teeth around the spout of the sippy cup. This along with sucking on the spout will cause abnormal changes in the jaws and tooth positioning. It may not seem like a big problem now, but it will be when adult teeth start erupting out of place.
Extended use of a bottle or sippy cup alters the way that our tongues learn to swallow. A tongue-thrusting habit often develops, as a result, where the tongue pushes against the teeth rather than the roof of the mouth when it’s time to swallow. This habit is very difficult to break and will cause teeth to jut out.
Encourage independence in your child by limiting sippy cup use and teach him to use a small cup on his own. This also limits liquid exposure on the teeth throughout the day, reducing his overall risk of tooth decay.