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More and more children today are finding themselves with cavities, including toddlers. Of course, the culprit is sugar, and more to the point, sippy cups seem to be the common denominator.

Sippy cups are marvelous inventions; they allow your toddler to transition from a bottle to a cup without the mess involved until they can manually manage a cup properly. The problem is when sippy cups are used for extended lengths of time. Many parents think these cups are safe to use for months and years, but the reality is they expose their toddlers to sugary drinks–such as juice–bathing their teeth in sugar longer. So, unless your toddler is drinking with a meal, sippy cups should only be filled with water the rest of the day.

To keep tooth decay and dental caries away from your child’s smile, we highly recommend bringing your child in for an exam while they are young. Studies show that children benefit from seeing a dentist by their first birthday. We recommend seeing a dentist after your child’s first tooth erupts onwards. When you bring your child in, our dentist explains the best at-home preventative care recommendations for their oral health. Your child’s smile will also be examined to make sure the teeth are developing properly.

To protect your child’s smile while using a sippy cup, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the following:

–Don’t use the cup for extended periods of time. Use sippy cups to help your child transition to a normal cup.

–Unless your child is drinking through the cup at mealtimes, keep the cup filled with water only.

–Unless the sippy cup is filled with water, don’t let your child go to bed with it.

To schedule a visit for your child with our pediatric dentist, Dr. Richard D. Guthrie, please call 949-388-6325 today. Our Mission Ranch Dental Aesthetics team in Ladera Ranch, California, looks forward to helping your child have a healthy smile!