When your child is suffering from a cough, it’s likely that you resort to over-the-counter cough syrup to ease their symptoms. While this may seem like a good idea, it can actually lead to tooth decay. Let’s take a closer look at why.
Most cough syrups contain citric acid and high fructose corn syrup which can lead to tooth decay when the bacteria in your child’s mouth feeds on sugars, breaks down, and forms acids that wear down their enamel.
Additionally, some cough syrups are full of alcohol which can trigger dry mouth. When a child experiences dry mouth, they may not have the saliva they need to wash away sugars and acids from their teeth, increasing their risk of developing tooth decay.
How to Reduce the Effects of Cough Syrup
The good news is that there are several ways you can reduce the effects of sugars and acids in cough medicine. Rather than giving your child cough syrup before bed, do so during breakfast, lunch, or dinner so that they can produce more saliva and rinse away the acids and sugars.
You can also give your child a straw so the syrup doesn’t have as much of a chance to damage your child’s teeth. It’s also a good idea to encourage your child to to use fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth after taking the medication.
If they are unable to brush their teeth, they can rinse their mouth thoroughly with water or chew some sugar-free gum. While all these ideas tips are effective, the best way to prevent the tooth decay that comes from cough syrup is to give your child cough medication in pill form so that they their teeth don’t come into contact with as many damaging ingredients.
Contact Triangle Pediatric Dentistry Today
At Triangle Pediatric Dentistry, we are committed to educating children as well as their parents on how to treat their cough while preventing tooth decay. If you’d like further details on how to help your child when they cough or would like to schedule a checkup, do not hesitate to contact us today.