17/05/2023 - Permalink

News from our partners: The big bottle swap is here

Related topics: Children's services / Health / Partner organisations

News from our partners Shropshire Community NHS Health Trust

Shropshire Community NHS Health Trust’s Healthy Smile Team will be out and about during National Smile Month (until Thursday 15 June 2023) to raise awareness of the importance of swapping babies’ bottles and valve cups to free flowing cups by the age of 12 months.

a free-flowing cup for a baby

The Healthy Smile Team recommend swapping to a free flowing cup before your baby is 12 months old

Despite being largely preventable, tooth decay is the most common reason for admission to hospital in children aged 6-10. In 2021/22 tooth extraction rates in hospitals for children and young people living in the most deprived communities were nearly three and a half times that of those living in the most affluent communities (1). It is important to start looking after baby’s teeth as soon as they start to come through.

Jill Allbutt, Oral Health Improvement Service Lead, said:

“Sugary drinks are one of the main causes of tooth decay in young children, and sugary drinks in a bottle or valve cup can cause the top front teeth to rot. It’s really sad to see 3-year-old children with tooth decay in their front teeth caused by a sugary drink in a bottle or valve cup, and the parents just didn’t realize. A free flow cup is one where the liquid flows freely when tipped upside down. Free flow cups are better for the child’s teeth and for development of speech, but it’s also about the drink that the bottle or cup contains; milk and water are the only safe drinks for teeth.”

The team will be available to offer advice and support in 22 different locations in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, during the month.

Parents and carers are invited to come along to any of the locations, where the team will be giving out free-flow cups for free, and oral health advice.

Find your local Big Bottle Swap events here.


1 Hospital tooth extractions in 0 to 19 year olds 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk