Small children have bottles and pacifiers for food and comfort, but those items can be hazardous.
A study in the Journal of Pediatrics found that 66 percent of mouth-related injuries were from baby bottles. Pacifiers accounted for 20 percent of the injures and sippy cups, 14 percent.
Injuries included cuts to the mouth and face or chipped teeth and often happened when children were running. In addition to chipped teeth or a bloody lip from the hard plastic, there are concerns regarding tooth decay.
"Some kids will have more ear infections because of the negative pressure required to suck the formula out of the bottle and some people think that drinking from a bottle may impede or retard speech development,” said Dr. Manny Cirenza, pediatrician.
Often, kids graduate from bottle to binky, which can get dirty and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
“You do see some children develop holes in their teeth from sucking on a binky," Cirenza said.
Health authorities encourage parents to wean children off binkies and bottles around the time they are learning to walk. They say children should stop using pacifiers by about six months and transition from bottles to lid-less cups by one year.
And if you afraid children will spill drinks on the furniture, the doctors do recommend you only allow children to drink from a sippy cup while they're sitting down.
“They should be able to stop, take a nice drink, put it down and move on," Cirenza said.