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The Link Between Cough Syrup & Dental Cavities in Children

A person pouring cough medicine onto a spoon

Now that the weather is changing, and many kids are back in school, parents are bracing themselves for cold and flu season. Things look a bit different this year, but the fact remains the same: cough syrup can cause dental cavities!

Children’s cough medicine contains sucrose and fructose corn syrup, which are both fed on by bacteria that live in the mouth. As the bacteria feed, it produces acids that will wear down and damage your child’s tooth enamel. A side effect of cough syrup can include dry mouth, which decreases saliva production. Without saliva to help wash away bacteria and acid, your child’s teeth are at an even higher risk of developing dental cavities.

Cough Syrup & Dental Cavities

There’s no reason your kids have to suffer from cold symptoms for the sake of their teeth. Below are a few ways you can prevent your child from developing cavities caused by cough syrup:

  • Your child needs to brush with fluoride toothpaste after taking cough syrup. This is the best way to avoid dental cavities in any circumstance. 
  • Do not administer cough medicine to your children right before bed. In addition to dry mouth as a side effect, saliva production is also reduced during sleep. As stated above, dry mouth can contribute to cavities. 
  • Consider offering your child sugar-free gum after they take cough syrup. Chewing gum encourages saliva production and helps to wash away the harmful acid caused by sugar.

Cold season is a great time to bring your child in for a dental cleaning and a checkup. We look forward to helping your kids have healthy, beautiful smiles!

To learn more about Summerfield pediatric dentistry, please contact Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry today! 

Posted on Oct 26, 2020
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com

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