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How can I protect my child's teeth when using a training cup?

Do not let your child constantly sip liquids containing sugar (including milk and juice drinks) from a training cup, because that encourages tooth decay. Offer these liquids only at mealtimes -- understanding that mealtimes for little ones may be more frequent than the standard three times a day for adults. (Saliva production increases during a meal and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.) If your child is thirsty between meals, offer water in the cup.

Do not let your child carry the training cup around, or get into the habit of keeping it within reach while riding in a car or stroller. At-will, frequent sips of sugary liquids encourage tooth decay. Another problem is that toddlers often are unsteady on their feet. They take an unnecessary risk if they try to walk and drink at the same time. Falling while drinking from a cup can injure the mouth. Do not let your child walk or run around with a training cup.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.