Why is drinking from a bottle bad?

Rupa - posted on 12/19/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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OK - I hear the things about being bad for your teeth, etc...but what i"m talking about is drinking one bottle's worth of liquid (juice, milk, water) in approximately 2-3 minutes total (so pretty quickly) and thats it. All day. How can that possibly be bad for your teeth? Especially if you brush your teeth afterwards? It seems just like drinking coffee from a travel mug (except people sip that ALL day long). And since its such a a short period of time, it doesn't seem likely to affect the teeth alignment either. So why do people rail so hard against a 3 or 4 or 5 year old still taking a night time bottle of milk (especially when the kiddo brushes their teeth right afterwards?)

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Cecilia - posted on 01/11/2013

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I always took my children's bottle early, right about a year old. This was not because i was concerned about teeth and such. I took it because truth be told I was "lazy". I was tired of scrubbing, and sterilizing them. Plus i use playtex so those bags get pricey after awhile. Cups simply get cleaned in a normal fashion with the rest of my dishes. (hey I'm being honest here)

Everyone will tell you the bottle is bad. Those same people will tell you binkies are okay.(thumb sucking too) They are equal when it comes down to the health of teeth. It isn't normally the contents in the bottle, it is the sucking which can cause issue.

If you are concerned about your child, they have sippy cups with soft tips that are great for transitioning. I assume that your child isn't falling asleep with the bottle if you're brushing afterwards. It might not be too hard to let their last drink for the night to be in a cup.

I'm not a dentist, so i can't tell you for sure exactly when to stop, if your child is showing signs of problems. Only a dentist can tell you what to do for your child's health.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/20/2012

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ok, the reason that you get "vague" answers is that there is no correct answer sometimes! For one kid, "sleeping through" is a 6 hour stretch. For another, it's 8 hours, and for another it could be 10.

Those who say that their kid "wouldn't drink milk" after being off the bottle generally (in my experience) don't want to "push" their kid into something that "the kid doesn't want". Well, at times, one must be firm and enforce things with their kids, rather than letting them do what they want. Most people that I know and have known for 44 years have had no problem with "getting their kid to eat/drink what they are supposed to", because they simply do not allow the option of NOT doing it.

And, no, as I clearly stated my problems were created by my parent leaving me on a bottle TOO LONG, In other words, well after I should have been weaned from the bottle, I was still given one because it was "easier" for my parent to make a bottle than it was for her to figure out how to cook a meal for a 4 year old.

Rupa - posted on 12/19/2012

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No I don't mean to brush it off -- no one is telling me I'm parenting incorrectly and I'm not concerned about someone else and I'm not doing a college study. I've just noticed that when people talk about "what kids do" they aren't often very specific - and the answers can vary depending on what someone actually means. An example of that is "sleeping through the night" which is usually defined by doctors as sleeping for about 5 straight hours overnight, but to me is more like 10 hours (midnight to 5 am just doesn't cut it for me). Anyways, I don't know what the need it - although I have noticed that many people complain that once they stopped the bottle entirely their child no longer drank milk. I'm sorry about your teeth -- and I did google it and found nothing -- but did what happen to your teeth occur because you only had one bottle a day?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/19/2012

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as far as data/studies on the subject, i don't have time to google it. Mine is personal experience. By the time I knew the damage that my mother had done to my tooth/jaw alignment, by keeping me on a bottle longer than necessary, the procedure to correct it would have been painful and costly. My explanations of the effects on the teeth and jaws were paraphrased from the information that the orthodontist gave me at the time.

And, in my experience, most people drinking from sports bottles are squirting the liquid into their mouths, not sucking on the top, since those types of bottles do not flow with a sucking pressure. And drinking from a travel mug is an entirely different action, it is not actively pushing against your teeth, you are drinking from the rim of the cup, much as you do from a regular cup.

So, I have to ask, what's the point here? Are you upset because people are telling you that you're parenting incorrectly? Are you concerned about someone else who has been observed giving their 5 yo a bottle at night? Are you doing a college study?

Just curious. Because my answers have been pretty self explanatory, and I've been forthcoming with them, but when I ask you a question, you brush it off.

So, what is the need to use a bottle, even once a day, if the child drinks everything else from a cup?

Rupa - posted on 12/19/2012

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OK I really do appreciate your thoughts -- I just have two questions ..one do you have any data (like a study or something from a dentist/orthodonist) to support that one bottle a day causes tooth malposition? and how do you think bottle use (in the way I described it) really differ from drinking water from sports bottles (like those Deer Park sports bottles that people suck on) or sipping from those travel mugs all day long?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/19/2012

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I guess I don't understand the need to use a bottle, even once a day, if the child drinks everything else from a cup?

Each to her own, of course. My personal opinion is that, if they're weaned from a bottle for everything else, they don't need a "before bed" bottle, whether it be juice, milk, water, or tea. And, yes, even 2 or 3 minutes, if done as a daily routine, could affect the tooth alignment and jaw. it may not be a lot, and it may not be noticeable at this point. But, in later years, when having to go to the orthodontist, or dental specialist because you have problems with your jaw, or tooth alignment, and you find out that that bottle that you were so attached to (for 2 or 3 minutes a day) could be the root cause...it can be difficult to correct.

Rupa - posted on 12/19/2012

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Thanks for responding -- so can I just clarify my question a bit? I don't really mean using a bottle exclusively - what I'm asking is once a day .. for barely 2-3 minutes. Does that really affect tooth alignment? That seems pretty far-fetched to me. Plus, all the other times of the day, the child uses a cup. I'm asking because there was another post by another mother and the responses centered around what you were saying, but never really addressed her situation - which was one bottle at bedtime and all other liquids all day in a cup...oh, and no pacifier use at all.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/19/2012

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because, really a 3, 4, or 5 yo should be drinking from a cup. You obviously did not breastfeed, so you're not doing the extended "attachment" parenting thing.

Here's another way to think of it. Would you send your 5 yo to kindy with a bottle in his backpack for snack? Or would you want him to be able to integrate with his peers by drinking (as they do) from a cup?

Yes, extended bottle feeding and pacifier use does have an effect on the teeth alignment. It's not necessarily the brushing issue, it has to do with the pressure applied to the teeth while the jaw is in a very formative stage of development. It can cause overbite and jaw problems as the child grows up.

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