Children love to suck on sippy cups, bottles and pacifiers. But new research shows that as children get older these comforts can injure instead of soothe.
In a recent study published in the Pediatrics journal, from 1991-2010, researchers found that 45,398 children were treated for injuries that resulted from pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups, which equals out to 2,270 cases per year.
The injuries usually were a result of one to two- year-old children who were sucking on a bottle, fell and cut their mouths.
The researchers looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and studied records from that period of children age 3 and under that were treated in emergency rooms in America.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents should try to transition children from a bottle to a cup between 12-15 months of age to prevent teeth decay. Many children will suck on bottles of milk or juice for extended periods of time, which creates plaque on their teeth that can lead to cavities.
They also recommend weaning because bottle-feeding has been connected to excessive milk intake, and deficiency in iron.
About 66 percent of the injuries were the result of a bottle. Injuries related to pacifiers were about 20 percent of the cases and resulted in bruises and teeth damage.
Researchers state it is better to teach children to use normal cups because parents are more likely to make sure their children sit or stay in one spot when drinking from it to prevent any spills.
To learn more about preventing teeth decay and mouth injuries in your toddler, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.