2421 Ford St, Golden, CO 80401

Sippy Cups and tooth decay


The connection to tooth decay and sippy cups is logical but yet it seems pacifiers and bottles get more of a bad wrap. Sippy cups were developed to transition from bottles to regular cups. When toddlers drink from these cups, they immerse the six front upper teeth in a drink that contains some sort of sugars. The convenience of these sippy cups leads children to sip on them throughout the day and all day long. This means sugars on the teeth for long periods of time which leads to the breakdown of enamel and cavities.

Even healthy juices and milks contain natural sugars that can decay these teeth. It is recommended that you give your child water throughout the day and only give other beverages at meal time. Like bottles, sippy cups should not be given when a child goes down for a nap or for the night. Sippy cups should be used as a transitional step for children, not as a long term solution for convenience. 

This topic brings up a further point of getting young children to the dentist by 1 year of age. Pediatric dentists provide information on all topics for oral health care. Teaching parents important habits for their children and going over growth and development, an extremely important part of long term oral health. Dentists assess diet and feeding patterns that may contribute to tooth decay. Baby teeth are very important because they hold the place for permanent teeth and help guide them into correct position, so keeping these baby teeth healthy is very important.

We offer a free happy visit for children under the age of 3 years old if the child does not have dental insurance that covers regular check ups. Our pediatric dentists want to establish early care and prevention.


Click HERE for a link to Delta Dental and why they recommend your child see a pediatric dentist by the age of one!


Silver Diamine Fluoride

What is silver diamine fluoride and why would a pediatric dentist recommend it?

Silver diamine fluoride is an alternative treatment that stops decay with noninvasive methods, mostly with young children that have baby teeth. Our pediatric dentists will clean and contain tooth/teeth and surrounding areas. A special brush is used to apply a clear liquid that is composed of two primary components, silver and fluoride. The silver is a anti-microbial agent that strengthens the underlying protective layer of your teeth called dentin. Fluoride is the active ingredient that puts a stop to tooth decay and helps prevent additional decay.

Silver diamine fluoride is fast, painless and easy. No drills or injections and is a non intimidating procedure. Two treatments per area are needed and we usually schedule these about a week apart. Although insurance doesn't cover this procedure, it is usually less out of pocket for parents then a restoration. This treatment will not eliminate the need for a restoration in the future to repair function, aesthetics or if more decay develops around treated area. Silver diamine fluoride will buy a young child time and when a young child gets older and more mature, a restoration can be performed. 

The down side is that decay treated areas turn black. Healthy tooth structure will not stain and stained areas can later be replaced with fillings or crowns when a child is at the point where he or she can tolerate this type of procedure. This office only applies silver diamine fluoride to baby teeth in the back of the mouth and not on front teeth. All efforts are made to ensure success of treatment but the risks are the procedure will not stop decay. If decay progresses, further silver diamine fluoride applications, dental fillings, root canal therapy or tooth extraction may be needed.


Children with a silver allergy or children with sores present in the mouth should not have this treatment. Our pediatric dentists will review all options that are best for your young child. As always, regular check ups and regular oral care at home are the best defense parents have in preventing cavities from forming in the first place. It is recommended to bring children in to see the dentist starting at one years old. Education, treatment and monitoring oral health are all keys to kiddos being free from tooth decay.


Why does a child need a space maintainer?


A child may need a space maintainer due to the early loss of a tooth or teeth. 

  • Trauma has caused the early loss of a tooth
  • Severe decay that has made the tooth nonrestorable
  • an abscess has formed and the tooth must be extracted
  • severe crowding is present and an orthodontist recommends an extraction(s)

Regardless of how a primary tooth has gone missing, it is important for the pediatric dentist or orthodontist to evaluate for a space maintainer. Teeth that are left without one will start to drift and possibly block out the permanent tooth below the gum. 


There are both removable and fixed space maintainers. Our doctors prefer the fixed ones, so that they know they are placed securely for as long as needed. The location of the missing tooth and how many teeth are missing are the deciding factor in what type of space maintainer is needed. The patient is fitted and the appliance is sent to a lab to be made  custom. 

Space maintainers are cemented into proper position and children adjust quickly within a few days. Extra oral hygiene care is needed around the bands and your dental provider will go over these instructions. Space maintainers are checked at regular 6 month dental cleanings or at regular evaluations from your orthodontist. The doctors will let you know when the proper time to remove the space maintainer will be. 

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