Infant Oral Health Concerns - How To Reduce Oral Thrush Risks

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If you have an infant, then you will likely see your child's first tooth appear in the mouth around the six month age mark. It is best to clean this first tooth with gauze and you should also go to this web-site or make arrangements to see a pediatric dentist around your child's first birthday. You may see a troubling condition before the first check up that will require a sooner appointment though. This condition is called oral thrush and it involves the overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. This yeast forms a thick white crust around the gums and sores can form as well. A pediatric dentist will likely prescribe an anti-fungal medication to control the yeast. Once the treatment is over, follow the tips below to keep oral thrush from developing again.

Stay Away From Antibiotics

Antibiotics are often prescribed to young children to control mild infections. Unfortunately, antibiotics do not seek out the bad bacteria in the body. The medication instead kills off all of the microorganisms in the mouth, intestines, and the rest of the body. Many of these bacteria are considered beneficial or harmless and bacterial colonies must rebuild themselves after the antibiotic medication is taken.

If the bacteria in the mouth do not grow or multiply fast enough, then the yeast and other fungi that live in the mouth can overgrow. This leads to a buildup of yeast and an oral thrush condition.

Wait for Illnesses to Go Away

One of the best ways to keep oral thrush from reoccurring is to reduce the amount of antibiotics that your infant must take. Most of the illnesses your child will contract as an infant will be viruses. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics and your child will generally not need any medication when he or she has a cold. Antibiotics may be needed if your child has an ear or sinus infection. These conditions may clear up on their own though, and you should wait to see if this is the case before you contact your pediatrician for a prescription.

Boost the Immune System

Oral thrush can also occur if your infant's immune system is not strong enough to control the overgrowth of yeast in the body. The immune system builds over time when it becomes exposed to bacteria and viruses. If your infant has had little exposure to environmental microorganisms, then the immune system cannot grow strong. You can help your child's immune system by allowing him or her to crawl around on the floor. Also, take your child to public spaces so he or she can be exposed to non-harmful bacteria and viruses. This will allow the immune system to start attacking the foreign bodies that enter the body.

You also should try to stay away from antibacterial soaps and other cleaners. These products will greatly reduce the amount of microorganisms that your child comes into contact with in the home. Use plain soap and water for cleaning or use vinegar when washing your floors and counters. Vinegar will kill some bacteria, but it will not destroy all microorganisms.

Provide Vitamin C

Once your infant is able to start eating solid foods, make sure to provide a variety of fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C. Vitamin C can strengthen the immune system by helping the body destroy the vital structures that make up the cells of viruses and bacteria. The nutrient also bonds with free radicals in the body so the immune system can fight off more harmful microorganisms. Vitamin C is also used to strengthen the bones and tissues of the body so they are more resistant to infections.

The vitamin C that your child does not use is excreted daily, so make sure to provide foods every day that contain the nutrient. Give your child orange juice, strawberries, and blueberries.  

Once your child can start eating crunchy and hard foods, then feed him or her broccoli and bell peppers. If your child is teething, consider freezing fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C. Place the frozen item in a washcloth and allow your child to chew on it. This will help soothe the teething pain and your infant will be able to consume vital nutrients at the same time.

If you notice a white film or a chunky discharge forming in your infant's mouth, then he or she may be developing oral thrush. Seek assistance from your pediatric dentist and then follow the tips above to make sure the condition does not have the opportunity to develop again.