Baby Bottle/Sippy Cup Syndrome

Child drinking sippy cup

sippy cup

Back in April, I asked a simple question.

It’s getting hot– what are you drinking?

When it gets hot, we often turn to lemonade, sports drinks, fruit juice, and soda to quench our thirst. But those drinks contain much more sugar than we think they do.

Our young children aren’t immune to the summer heat, either. And they like sweet drinks even more than adults do.

This leads to what I call ‘sippy cup syndrome,’ where we fill our child’s sippy cup with a cold, sugary drink to help them bear the heat. 

Unfortunately, this leads to tooth decay.

Limiting Sugar

I’ve seen many parents fill up sippy cups with fruit juice, and sometimes even soda. Though fruit is good for us, and 100% fruit juice has many nutritional qualities, it’s also loaded with sugar.

It’s almost impossible to eliminate sugary drinks completely, but you should do your best to limit them, even in the summer.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • No matter what your child drinks, encourage them to drink at least six glasses of water per day.
  • Keep soda and other sweet drink consumption to less than 12 ounces per day.
  • Use a straw with your child’s sippy cup– it helps keep sugar away from the teeth.
  • Encourage your children to finish their drink in one go, instead of sipping it slowly over time.
  • Make sure your child brushes and flosses at least twice per day.
  • Ask your child to rinse their mouth out with water after consuming a sugary drink.
  • Don’t drink soda or fruit juice right before bedtime.
  • Make regular dental appointments for your child.

Formula at Bedtime

Sippy cup syndrome also happens with baby bottles.

Formula contains a lot of sugar. Though it’s necessary for many children, the sugar still remains.

If you leave your child with a baby bottle full of sugary formula before bed, the sugar will sit on their teeth all night, and bacteria will gather.

Stay cool and hydrated this summer, and limit sugary drinks whenever possible!

~Dr. Marea White