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How to Get Rid of Canker Sores in your Child’s Mouth

Smile Reef

Our children are most often our main priority and generally most parents put the needs of children ahead of their own. It especially eats at us when our kids fall ill, get a boo-boo on the playground, or even when a pesky canker sore makes itself known.

What is a Canker Sore in the Mouth & What Causes them?

So what is a canker sore? Canker sores appear as small white swellings or sores surrounded by an area of redness. Canker sores are found on the gum line, under the tongue, on the cheeks and lips. Canker sores are not contagious. They do seem to recur, and come about to be minor or small, sometimes large, and now and again can be multiples usually clustered together. Canker sores can be painful and make eating or drinking unbearable. It is unclear what actually causes canker sores although most medical experts agree that it is either bacterial or viral involving the immune system. It is also presumed factors such as stress, vitamin or iron deficiency, trauma, allergies and heredity might contribute. Children and teenagers seem more susceptible than adults.

Difference Between Canker Sore & Cold Sore

Sometimes people confuse canker sore with cold sores. Canker sores only appear in the mouth, where cold sores generally emerge on the lips, or outside the mouth. Cold sores are contagious, and painful coming from the herpes virus.

How to Treat Canker Sores in Children

Canker sores generally heal within seven-ten days, however recurrent outbreaks are common. Typically canker sores do not need prescription medication and an over the counter pain reliever is recommended if it gets too painful. If a canker sore lasts longer than two weeks and it has become too painful for your child to eat or drink, contact a doctor.

Smile Reef has prepared a few tips to help your child prevent reoccurring canker sores and to help canker sores be less painful;

- Avoid eating abrasive, salt foods too often. Snacks like chips and nuts can irritate the gums and delicate mouth tissues. Especially if a canker sore is present, it may be a good idea to skip those salty treats.
- Avoid foods that your child may have even minor allergies to. Spicy, salty and acidic foods should be avoided during a canker sore breakout as these foods can contribute to irritation and lead to pain.
- Have your child brush their teeth and use mouthwash with products that do not contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate).
- If your child seems to get canker sores on a regular bases, try switching to a toothbrush with softer bristles and avoid scrubbing too hard.

Professional Pediatric Dentistry in Las Vegas Nevada

Although canker sores can be a pain, both figuratively and literally, our children will learn how to deal with them, and what to avoid until those tiny nuisances go away. Smile Reef Pediatric Dentistry has the expertise to get your child to a healthy mouth and dazzling smile. If you have any questions or concerns about canker sores, we can consult with you on your child’s next visit.

canker sore

Effects of Prolonged Thumb Sucking & Pacifier Use; Crooked Teeth & Tooth Decay

Smile Reef

Kids can pick up some of the funniest habits, whether it is carrying around a particular blanket everywhere they go, wanting to wear the same t-shirt every day or biting finger nails. Some habits are harmless and comical while others can have long term effects on your child. Some of the more negative habits for a child to have are thumb sucking and the pacifier being constantly in their mouth. While sucking is natural for babies, it can turn into a nasty habit if turned to the thumb or pacifier for a long period of time. Getting your child to quit these habits can be frustrating, especially if they have been allowed to get away with it for so long.

Should Baby Use a Pacifier

Children are usually finished using a pacifier or sucking their thumb between the ages of two and four. Prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use will result in dental problems in the future. Taking care of these dental problems sooner rather than later will prevent even more severe issues down the road. While dentists prefer a pacifier over thumb sucking, the pacifier can still cause dental problems. If your child is struggling to go without a pacifier, you may want to look for an orthodontically correct pacifier, they are available, however going without will be much better for the child.

Don’t Dip Pacifier in Sugar

When a baby is new, some parents make the mistake of dipping the child’s pacifier into sugar, syrup or honey. This is never recommended and will make it much more difficult for the child to wean off of the pacifier. Although dipping the pacifier into a sweet sticky food may help calm your baby, it can also have negative effects on the teeth that are coming in as well. Another issue that young kids get poor dental health from is when they are sent to bed with juice in their bottle. Instead of pumping more sugar into their bodies and teeth, use bottle water instead, especially at night time.

Do Pacifiers Make Teeth Crooked & Damaged?

Prolonged use of the pacifier or thumb sucking will result in your child’s bottom teeth leaning forward, the top teeth slanting outward and even misalignment of the child’s jaw. The risk of any of these complications occurring is greatly increased when your child sucks their thumb or uses a pacifier for longer than what is recommended. If your child is struggling with thumb sucking or getting weaned off of a pacifier, try rewarding them for their efforts. Set small goals, like going a day without the pacifier or sucking the thumb. Start small and work up to going without on a permanent basis. Contact Smile Reef for a complete check up of your child’s teeth, to correct any issues that may have occurred due to thumb sucking or pacifier use.

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