Does Cough Syrup Cause Cavities?
The chilly weather has arrived, bringing with it a slew of diseases! This is especially true for families with children who attend preschool, elementary school, or childcare, as these settings tend to facilitate the spread of infections. Cavities and cough syrup are unfortunately linked. Cough syrup, which can help relieve cold and flu symptoms, can harm your teeth and those of your children.
Cough syrups contain both fructose corn syrup and sucrose, which are both favorable foods for the bacteria that live in the mouth. Acids are produced by these bacteria when they eat. The acid will then begin to eat away at the enamel of the tooth, causing cavities and tooth decay. Dry mouth is also a common side effect of many of these drugs. Saliva helps to wash away the toxic acids that eat away at the enamel, therefore a lack of it can make cavities and decay more likely.
Preventing Cough Syrup-Related Dental Issues
We’re not suggesting that you stop taking your cold and cough medicine. Here are some tips for preventing cavities in yourself and your child:
After using cough syrup, brush your teeth or your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste right away. In any case, this is still the best strategy to avoid cavities.
Cough syrup should not be given immediately before you or your child goes to bed. This is due to a number of factors. Allowing the syrup to rest on the teeth overnight will help to prevent cavities from forming. Second, because saliva production decreases when sleeping, there will be no way to wash out the acid created by bacteria feeding on cough syrup.
If you can’t brush straight after taking the cough syrup, chew sugar-free gum instead. Chewing will help you produce more saliva and wash the acids out of your mouth.
Give us a call to learn more about cavities and cough syrup from The Dental Ark and Stevensons Dental Ark.