Are your babies sipping their teeth away?

 

Image result for sippy cups              Image result for sippy cups

(you can see the valves in the spout)

In continuing with February’s Children’s Dental Health Month theme, many parents are unaware of the harm caused by offering their children sippy cups.

In talking with parents during their child’s one-year-old new patient visit, I find parents pulling out their child’s sippy cup filled with milk or juice.  I would say close to 100% of the parents are unaware of the harm the sippy cup filled with milk/juice can cause.  During their child’s exam, we use a disclosing solution to show the parents where the plaque on their baby’s teeth is.  In almost every case (because brushing a one-year old’s teeth is difficult!) the child has plaque (sticky bacteria film) on the front of their “smile teeth”.   When a child sucks milk through the sippy cup spout, the sugars from the milk combine with the bacteria in the plaque to cause decay.

Believe it or not, as soon as teeth erupt, decay can occur.  One of the most common ways children’s teeth will decay is the frequent and prolonged exposure to milk, juice or formula, all which contain sugar.  So putting baby to bed with a bottle will dramatically increase their chances of “baby bottle mouth”, or decay on the baby teeth.

You should encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.  If you use a sippy cup, be sure to remove the valve so that it is not a “baby bottle” in disguise.  The valves in the spout merely cause the child to suck the fluid over the teeth the same way a bottle does, and it also defeats the purpose of the child learning to sip.

Don’t let your child walk around with the sippy cup, as toddlers are often unsteady and could injure their mouth during a fall.

A training cup should be used temporarily.  Once your child has learned how to sip, the training cup has achieved its purpose.  It can and should be set aside when no longer needed.

Tips

For sipping success, carefully choose and use a training cup. As the first birthday approaches, encourage your child to drink from a cup. As this changeover from baby bottle to training cup takes place, be very careful:

– what kind of training cup you choose

– what goes into the cup

– how frequently your child sips from it

– that your child does not carry the cup around

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, Have You Made Your 1 year-old’s appointment?

Most people are shocked when I tell them their one year-old should come and see us!  There are SO many reasons why we start dental exams at one:

  1.  Parents need to be taught how to brush their children’s teeth.  This is a lot harder than most people think, and a few of our handy-dandy tips keep the sugar bugs away.
  2.  We check to make sure they have the proper number of teeth and look for other problems such as tongue-tie and yes….cavities.
  3.  We talk about fluoride needs and figure out if their child is getting enough
  4. Teach good snacking and feeding habits.
  5. Assess habits such as pacifiers and finger sucking.

Call to make your child’s dental appointment today!  920-968-5000

Here is a great song to play while you brush your child’s teeth

Tooth Healthy Snacks for Super Bowl Sunday

Hummus with Cucumber

Cucmbers and hummus dip

What’s in it:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, one drained, one with liquid
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley

How it’s done:
1. Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed except for the cucumber.
2. Blend for approximately 1 to 1 and a half minutes, pulsing as necessary.
3. Slice up the cucumber into thick pieces for dipping.
4. Place hummus in serving bowl and drizzle additional olive oil on top with some parsley for garnish.

What makes it tooth friendly:
Protein rich chickpeas don’t contain any saturated fat or cholesterol, making hummus a good choice for your overall health. Chickpeas are also rich in folic acid, which keeps your mouth healthy by promoting cell growth throughout your body. As to the cucumbers, not only are they a healthy alternative to chips, but they are rich in vitamins B and C and have even been shown to help freshen breath and naturally whiten teeth!

Check out other healthy Super Bowl snacks and other great tooth-friendly information at http://www.mouthhealthy.org!  This recipe is courtesy of Dr. Sheryl Hunter Griffith, DDS and Dr. Elizabeth Chen, DDS, MS, pediatric dentists from Texas.