Bottle Use and Oral Health
Beyond asking when should babies stop using bottles, you should also understand why it's so important for them to transition to a cup. Continued bottle use can introduce risks to your child's oral health, including baby bottle tooth decay. Per the American Dental Association (ADA), prolonged exposure to sugary drinks, such as giving juice in a bottle overnight, can increase the likelihood of tooth decay in young children. It can be a tough challenge for many parents to wean their child from a bottle, particularly if they use it to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that if you put your child to sleep with a bottle, only do so with water.
Prolonged use of bottles can not only lead to tooth decay, but it may also affect your child's overall dental development and ability to feed properly, as UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital explains.
What's more, the transition from bottle to cup may affect their speech development. Remember, a sippy cup is only meant to be a temporary transition item as you move toward an open cup. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the act of sucking on a sippy cup is similar to a bottle, making it potentially harder for your child to develop certain swallow and speech patterns. Ideally, your child will begin to be able to use a straw and an open cup with your assistance.