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Helping Patients with Sipping

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2023

Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd

As dental professionals we are always asked by patients what they can do to make their smile whiter or brighter. We may have patients who have difficulty swallowing due to dyspraxia or dysphagia from developmental delays, stroke or Parkinson’s Disease. Dyspraxia is defined by as a disorder that affects movement and coordination. It can also be called developmental coordination disorder and can affect a person’s ability to swallow. Dysphagia is defined as difficulty or discomfort in swallowing. Additionally, how many times have we scalded our palate with a hot drink? There is now an answer to all these issues – Sipify™!

Sipify™ is the first reusable straw specifically designed for hot beverages. It’s patent-pending design allows the user to “air cool” the beverage so as not to burn the palate. This provides a similar experience to taking a sip from the top of the cup. Its unique and comfortable design is made to bypass the anterior teeth thus allowing patients to sip on hot beverages without staining their teeth! As dental professionals, we know the struggles removing stain from patients who love coffee, tea and other staining beverages. Sipify™ protects the palate and makes the recare appointment easier!

Another benefit of utilizing Sipify™ is that its unique shape allows it to fit into to-go lids and 95% of travel mugs. The Sipify™ permits the user to drink without having to tip the cup, thereby reducing the chance of spillage, especially while driving. The user can stay safe and keep her/his eyes on the road!

With concerns over plastic and the environment, many have switched to reusable straws or paper straws. Paper often does not provide the user with a great experience while reusable straws can be breeding grounds for bacteria, aka biofilm! Sipify™ is made with a high-grade stainless-steel straw with a removable, food grade silicone cover that has no hard-to-reach places where biofilm can reside. Sipify™ also comes with a cleaning brush with both the straw and cover being dishwasher safe.

For patients that have dysphagia or dyspraxia Sipify™ limits the flow and lets the user control the amount of liquid per sip. This helps prevent choking and aspiration issues that many stoke or other dysphagia patients risk. The inventor, Alice Stone, believes so much in its benefits for patients that she donates a portion of Sipify™’s proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

Alice loves coffee but she also loved having white teeth! During her regular hygiene visit, her dental professionals advised that her teeth would be whiter if she switched to drinking iced coffee through a straw. She yearned for a way to safely sip her morning cup of hot joe! After creating several prototypes, she arrived at the concept for Sipify ™. She used it exclusively to sip coffee and tea. Upon returning for her periodic evaluation, her hygienist and dentist found her teeth were much less stained and less sensitive! She also noticed that while traveling in her car to various work projects, she no longer spilled her coffee on her clothes or took her eyes off the road. At that point she realized that she had found an idea that would resonate with others.

When a person uses a straw, the straw draws from the bottom of the cup where the drink can be the hottest and can scald the palate or take in too much liquid. Sipify ™ has a unique shape and air-technique system that delivers an optimized cooling for the perfect sip while controlling the amount of liquid. Alice and her designers have engineered the silicone cover to allow air to pass through while providing comfort and security while keeping the sip hot but not scolding.

As a video producer, Alice has several medical contacts. Initially, she contacted speech and language pathologists that she knew and asked their opinions on Sipify™. They were amazed that it allows normal swallowers to control the amount of liquid per sip. This can translate well for dysphagia/dyspraxia patients as it provides control safety. Someone learning to sip from a straw can extract a small amount and then swallow. As oral strength increases, so can the sip. It can also be used so that the tongue can momentarily block the mouth of the straw. This technique can help increase tongue mobility.

Moving from medical into dentistry, Alice is excited about the possibilities that Sipify™ can bring to dental professionals and patients. She understands the time constraints that dental professionals experience and helping decrease treatment time by decreasing patient staining is helpful for both professional and patients. Patients see their dental professionals more than they do medical professionals and offering patients a device that will help overcome swallowing difficulties is also a benefit. Myofunctional therapists will find Sipify™ a perfect adjunct to materials already in use.

Sipify™ comes in single packages as standard (short) or tall (travel mug) or in two-packs of both a standard and tall. It can be ordered at or on Amazon. Dental team members are all about education and providing information to patients to benefit overall health while maintaining their smile. Investigate Sipify™ to help your patients and practice.


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