How Cough Syrup Can Cause Cavities
As parents, there are few things that cause us more worry than when our children are ill. We want to treat them in the most effective way possible. But while illness can be an emergency, you need to remain on guard to protect your children’s teeth. For instance, cough syrup can do a wonderful job of treating a child’s cold. Unfortunately, cough syrups filled with acids and sugars pose as much danger to teeth as any other acidic and sugary substance. By all means, give your children cough syrup to help them feel better. But follow this advice to make sure you don’t cause harm while you’re trying to help.
Because cough syrup is not tooth-friendly, it’s important to know more about our mouth’s best built-in tool for countering its harmful properties: saliva. Saliva protects teeth and gums by washing away harmful chemicals, food debris and germs. Whatever doesn’t go down your child’s throat to help with his or her symptoms will be washed away with saliva eventually once the mouth is properly lubricated. So, how do you ensure that your child’s saliva levels will be sufficient when you give him or her the medicine?
The best method: Give the cough syrup during a meal. People’s mouths naturally fill with saliva when they know a meal is imminent. By having your child take the cough syrup during the meal, you can ensure that its harmful impact is minimized.
What if your child is unable to eat or has just finished a meal? If that’s the case, your best bet is to get your child to brush his or her teeth and rinse his or her mouth immediately after taking the 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. If your child has problems swallowing pills or you have other concerns about how caring for an illness can interfere with dental care, don’t hesitate to ask us during your next visit at KiDDS Dental. We can give you some tips that will help your child shake the illness without damaging his or her growing teeth.
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