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Cough syrups can give your kids cavities

A report says that in a bid to combat their child's cough and fever, parents might just end up causing cavities in their kids' teeth.

entertainment Updated: Jan 11, 2006 12:16 IST

In a bid to combat their child's cough and fever, parents might just end up causing cavities in their kids' teeth, a report published in the latest issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry s (AGD)clinical, peer-reviewed journal, reveals.

According to the study, antihistamine syrups used for treating children's flu and other chronic allergies may contain low pH levels and high acidity which can be a dangerous combination for a child's teeth. The sugar in the medication combined with the acids dissolve dental enamel, causing erosion.

"It's important to talk with your dentist about any medications that your child is on and see what he or she recommends to combat the problems those medications might cause," said AGD spokesperson Paul Bussman, DMD, FAGD.

The report revealed that placing children's teeth in contact with syrupy medications could cause erosion to the outer layers of the teeth. However, when teeth were treated with a topical fluoride treatment, the decay was minimal.

Author of the study Carolina Covolo da Costa feels that since the flow of saliva, nature's buffer against cavities, decreases during the night, medicines given before bedtime can do a great deal of damage if a child does not brush away sugar and acids.
Hence, a fluoride toothpaste can provide extra protection against decay, but if brushing is not possible, rinsing the mouth with water can minimize the risk.

"Although some medications are necessary for general health they can be extremely harmful to the teeth if the medicine is given at bedtime or without following proper oral health habits," said Carolina.

First Published: Jan 11, 2006 12:16 IST