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California Dental Hygienists Offer Tips for Safe Sippy Cup Use

Spike in Tooth Decay, Dental Problems Linked to Reliance on Spill-Proof Cups

GLENDALE, Calif., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With childhood tooth decay on the rise, the California Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA) today urged parents and caregivers to educate themselves about the proper use of "sippy" cups.

"We all know that sippy cups are a godsend to parents of toddlers," said Jean Honny, president of CDHA. "But they need to be used wisely and properly in order to ensure optimum oral health."

Honny noted that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, and that sippy cups containing milk, juice, punch and soda are leading to a rise in these numbers.

"With this being National Children's Dental Health Month, we are offering information and simple tips about the right way to use sippy cups," she said, citing the following recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

-- A sippy cup is a training tool to help children transition from a bottle to a cup. It should not be used for a long period of time;

-- Sippy cups are meant to be used as a transition from a bottle to a cup -- ideally they should only be used for about a three-month period, after which, a child should be using a regular cup;

-- Unless at mealtime, a sippy cup should only be filled with water;

-- Never put a child down for a nap with a sippy cup or allow him or her to use one for a long period of time. This could cause malformation of the roof of the mouth. Do not use it as a bottle or pacifier;

-- Chronic use of a sippy cup frequently results in oral-motor and/or speech disorders, malocclusion, and "tongue thrust" swallowing patterns.

"By paying attention to these issues and taking their children in for regular checkups, parents can give their children smiles they can be proud of for a lifetime," said Honny. "Oral health directly correlates to physical health and self-esteem."

The California Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA) is the authoritative voice of the state's dental hygiene profession. The organization was established 20 years ago when two regional associations merged to form a unified professional group. CDHA represents thousands of dental hygienists throughout the state and is dedicated to expanding opportunities for the profession and access to care for all Californians.

SOURCE California Dental Hygienists' Association
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