Colds, Coughs … and Cavities?

Youre probably aware that candy leads to cavities and sugary drinks can also cause decay. But cough syrup? Unfortunately, its true certain syrupy medications can cause tooth troubles, especially if theyre consistently taken over a long period of time. The antihistamine syrups you can buy over-the-counter to help you and your kids combat the flu or allergies often have high acidity and low pH levels. These medications can also contain sugar to help with the taste. Combined, those factors are like a one-two punch for teeth, working together to dissolve tooth enamel and cause erosion.1 Dont worry were not suggesting you suffer through seasonal ailments without any relief. Just follow these four tips to make sure the medicine doesnt do more harm than good.

  • Avoid taking syrup medication right before bed. Since saliva flow naturally decreases at night, the residue wont rinse away like it would during the day.
  • If theres no way around a bedtime dose, make sure to rinse with water afterward.
  • Try to take medications with meals. Chewing increases saliva flow, which helps wash away sugars and acids.
  • Talk to your childs dentist about a topical fluoride, which helps keep decay at bay.2

With the proper precautions and good oral health habits, youll be able to keep colds, coughs and cavities away this season!

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Healthy, crunchy foods help keep teeth clean by stimulating saliva. Which of these is your favorite?

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