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Can medications affect my child's teeth?

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Children's medications can be flavored and sugary. If they stick on the teeth, the chance of cavities goes up. Children on medications for chronic conditions such as asthma and heart problems often have a higher decay rate.

Antibiotics and some asthma medications can cause an overgrowth of candida (yeast), which can lead to a fungal infection called oral thrush. Signs are creamy, curd-like patches on the tongue or inside the mouth.

Talk to your dentist about how often to brush if your child is taking long-term medications. It could be as often as four times a day.

SOURCES:

Beverly Largent, DMD, Paducah, KY; past president, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Mary Hayes, DDS, pediatric dentist, Chicago; spokeswoman, American Dental Association.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: "Dental Home Online Resource Center,"  "CDC Report Highlights Importance of Pediatric Dental Visits," "Dental Care for Your Baby."

CDC: "Preventing Dental Caries with Community Programs," "Children's Oral Health."

Children's Dental Health Project: "Cost Effectiveness of Preventive Dental Services."

American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Pediatric Dentistry.   May 1, 2003. Pediatrics,

American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Pediatric Dentistry and Oral Health.  Dec. 1, 2008. Pediatrics,

American Dental Association: "Common Mouth Sores," "Good Oral Health Practices Should Begin in Infancy."

Medicinenet.com: "Thrush and Other Yeast Infections in Children."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "What is the best way to take care of a young child's teeth?"

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on July 31, 2017

SOURCES:

Beverly Largent, DMD, Paducah, KY; past president, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Mary Hayes, DDS, pediatric dentist, Chicago; spokeswoman, American Dental Association.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: "Dental Home Online Resource Center,"  "CDC Report Highlights Importance of Pediatric Dental Visits," "Dental Care for Your Baby."

CDC: "Preventing Dental Caries with Community Programs," "Children's Oral Health."

Children's Dental Health Project: "Cost Effectiveness of Preventive Dental Services."

American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Pediatric Dentistry.   May 1, 2003. Pediatrics,

American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Pediatric Dentistry and Oral Health.  Dec. 1, 2008. Pediatrics,

American Dental Association: "Common Mouth Sores," "Good Oral Health Practices Should Begin in Infancy."

Medicinenet.com: "Thrush and Other Yeast Infections in Children."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "What is the best way to take care of a young child's teeth?"

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on July 31, 2017

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How do I get my child to brush their teeth?

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