Choose Training Cups Carefully and Use Them Temporarily
Tooth decay can occur as soon as the baby’s teeth appear. One of the risk factors for childhood caries (sometimes called “baby bottle tooth decay”) is frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids containing sugar -including milk, formula and fruit juice.
Because decay can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child, parents should encourage their children to drink from a acup by the first birthday.
As you make the change from baby bottle to training cup be very careful about:
- what kind of training cup you use
- what goes into the cup
- how frequently your child sips from it
- not allowing your child to carry the cup around
How to Select the Right Training Cup
The best training cup for your child is one with no valve. Stores offer a large and often confusing variety of training cups (also called “sippy cups” or “tippy cups”). Many if not most of these are “no-spill” cups – nothing more than baby bottles in disguise. “No-spill” cups include a valve beneath the spout, which does stop spills. However, cups with valves do not allow your child to sip. The only way your child can get liquid from a cup with a valve, is by sucking (as from a baby bottle). This defeats the purpose as it prevents your child from learning to sip.
When shopping for a training cup avoid those with valves. A useful training cup with have a snap-on or screw-on lid with a spout. If you can find a cup with two handles that may be best. A useful cup may also be self-righting, with a weighted base that pulls the cup upright when it tips, keeping spills to a minimum.
What – and How Often – Your Child Should Drink
Do not let your child constantly sip liquids containing sugar.(including milk and juice drinks), because that encourages tooth decay. Offer these liquids only at mealtimes – understanding that mealtimes for little ones may be more frequent than the standard three times a day for adults. (Saliva production increases during a meal and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth). If your child is thirsty between meals, offer them water in the cup
Do not let your child carry the cup around or get into the habit of keeping it within reach while riding in a car or stroller. At-will frequent sips of sugary substances encourages tooth decay. Another problem is that toddlers are often unsteady on their feet. They take an unnecessary risk when they try to walk and drink at the same time. Falling while drinking from a cup can injure the mouth. Do not let your child walk or run around with a training cup.
A training cup should be used temporarily. Once your child has learned how to sip, the training cup has acheived its purpose.It an and should be set aside when no longer needed.
source: “From Baby Bottle to Cup: Choosing Training Cups Carefully” medlineplus.gov, Web May 11th, 2018.
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