Your child’s oral health is an important aspect of their overall health. Many parents don’t realize that something small like sippy cups or thumb sucking can lead to oral health issues. That is why we at Canyon Creek Dentistry think it is important to let parents know the potential dangers that these can cause.
First, it is always important to remember that sippy cups are just a stage. This is the stage between a bottle and a regular cup. Sippy cups are to help children learn how to use a regular cup while discouraging spills. While avoiding spills is good, at times, parents will continue to encourage their children to use a sippy cup so that they don’t have to spend time cleaning up messes. However, prolonged use of sippy cups can lead to cavities.
Just as you wouldn’t put a baby to bed with a bottle, using a sippy cup for long periods of time (especially with milk or juice) will lead to cavities. When a child drinks from a sippy cup, the top three and bottom three teeth are being hit with the liquid. So drinks like milk or juice have sugars in them that will constantly be covering those teeth. Over time, those sugars will start to break down the enamel causing cavities. That is why it is encouraged to let your child drink from a regular up once your child is ready.
Just as sippy cups can lead to oral health issues, thumb sucking can as well. We often get questions about thumbsucking such as, “What happens if my child continues to suck their thumb?” Well, the answer to this is that thumb sucking (depending on the frequency) causes the teeth as well as the upper and lower jaws to be pushed out of alignment. And, the roof of the mouth can be changed as well. Both of these issues can affect the speech development of your child.
It is important to note that children should be discouraged from sucking their thumbs after the age of 4. While thumb sucking is normal, it is important to note why your child is sucking their thumb so that it can help you break this habit. For instance, is your child stressed or nervous? Noting these reasons will help you understand their reason for sucking so that you can help curve the habit. You can use positive reinforcement and even set up goals to help. If all else fails, you can even reach out to us and we can help come up with a plan to help stop thumb sucking.
Both of these habits can affect your child’s overall oral health. But knowing why these things are discouraged can help get your child back on track with their oral health. Call or schedule your child’s dentist appointment today!