Canker sores can be distracting and cause discomfort for children. Where do these awful little mouth sores come from and what can we do about them?
What are Canker Sores?
Canker sores are small, shallow sores that develop on the inside of our lips or cheeks, and they can make it difficult to eat and even talk.
5 Canker Sore Triggers
Here are five triggers that cause canker sores:
- An injury to mouth tissue. Tissue injuries can happen when we bite our lip or cheek. When the tissue swells, it compounds the issue by making it easy to accidentally bite it again.
- High stress levels. Prolonged stress levels put a strain on the immune system, which makes the mouth more vulnerable to developing sores.
- Being Sick. When we are sick it strains the immune system, which is why we can be more likely to develop a canker sore in addition to the main infection we’re already fighting.
- Eating highly acidic foods. When we eat foods that are high in acid such as lemons, strawberries, tomatoes, and pineapple, they can be hard on the tissues of the mouth.
- Bad-fitting braces. Poking braces can lead to canker sores if they rub the cheeks the wrong way.
Treatments for Canker Sores
If your child gets canker sores often, try to identify the main trigger. Knowing the cause makes it easier to treat them. Try cutting back on acidic foods, use dental wax to protect from poking wires and brackets, and reduce stress levels to provide your child’s immune systems a break. If none of these solutions work, or if you have tried them and it still isn’t helping, we recommend following these tips:
- Apply topical ointments to manage the pain or take painkillers to reduce the discomfort.
- Rinse your child’s mouth with warm salt water to reduce inflammation and to speed up the healing process.
- Use a toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate (but does contain fluoride!).
- Only brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce irritation.
Canker Sore Prevention Tactics
The best way to ensure your child does not have to battle canker sores is preventing them. Make sure your little one is getting plenty of vitamin B12, iron, and folate. Carrots, salmon, spinach, kale, parsley, and yogurt are great sources for these vitamins.
Making sure to maintain good oral hygiene is key too. Having unchecked plaque can make it hard for our children’s natural defenses to do their jobs in preventing canker sores.
Bring Us Your Canker Sore Questions!
We hope we have addressed the questions you have about your child’s canker sores, but if not, we are happy to answer them! Please feel free to give us a call at 775-359-3934.