When children become ill, we want nothing more than to help them recover quickly. As part of the recovery process, you may need to give your child medicine that is over the counter or prescribed by your family doctor. While these medications may help your child get better its important to know the impact they may have on your child’s teeth.
Cough syrup can be a great help in treating cold symptoms, however we have to be wary of the effect it can have on teeth. Cough syrups are often made up of sugars and acids and when left in the mouth can be a precursor for the development of tooth decays. To curb the potential of developing tooth decay, take the following measures. Try to give the cough syrup with a meal. During a meal saliva is produced to help lubricate and wash food down. This protective saliva can wash away any remnants of the cough syrup that may be lingering afterwards. If your child is having difficulty eating because of the illness or already finished their meal, then have them brush their teeth afterwards or rinse their mouth out with water to remove any residual cough syrup. Finally, if you have the option and your child is able, use a pill form of the cough medicine instead of the syrup version
Saliva provides a very important protective function in the mouth by helping to remove and break down food particles as well as remineralizing teeth. Some medications as a side effect can cause a reduction in the amount saliva and cause dry mouth. In cases like this it’s important to keep the mouth moist and drink plenty of water. Also limit the amount of sugary foods that decay causing bacteria can feed on.
If you have any concern about medications, your child is taking and how caring for an illness can interfere with dental care, don’t hesitate to ask us during your next visit. We can give you some tips that will help your child shake the illness without damaging his or her growing teeth.
About The Author:
Dental Works 4 Kids is a pediatric & an orthodontic health care specialist in Ontario, CA provides the highest standard of specialized and comprehensive oral health care and orthodontics for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special needs. Dental Works 4 Kids offer a safe and welcoming environment with a focus on education and prevention for families in our community.