Not all parents would think to consult with a children’s dentist in San Diego when their kids are down with a cold or the flu. But sharing information with a dental care professional can actually be beneficial, if only for the advice that they can provide with regard to how cough and cold medicines can affect a child’s dental health.
One thing that many parents don’t realize is that a lot of cough drops and liquid medications on the market contain a number of ingredients that can increase a child’s risk of developing cavities. Among the most common of these ingredients are high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose, both of which are sugars that bacteria in the mouth feed on. When they do, they form acids that can wear away the teeth’s enamel.
Many medications also contain citric acid, which can have a similarly damaging effect on the enamel. When combined with low pH in certain antihistamines, acidity can be especially harmful to the teeth.
Alcohol is another common ingredient in over-the-counter medications, and it can contribute to dental problems as well. Alcohol tends to dry the mouth, and hinders saliva’s ability to rinse the teeth of sugars and acids. because they remain in the mouth for longer, the damaging effects of sugars and acids are magnified, resulting in a higher risk of tooth decay.
Consulting with a children’s dentist in San Diego will help you and your children avoid many of the dental issues associated with the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. If you would like information on better alternatives to such medications, please call Children’s Dentistry of San Diego at (858) 536-1111.