by Tasneem Dhinojwala
When the immunity of the body goes down, Candida albicans can overgrow and lead to infection. Here is how to treat oral or mouth thrush in babies
Children at times tend to have various health issues causing them discomfort and irritation. When the baby is in the infant and toddler stage, a mother needs to figure out the cause, as the baby cannot explain itself. During the infancy stage, there are several illnesses that need to be looked out for. One of them is mouth thrush.
Oral or mouth thrush in babies is common, but a harmless problem. It makes the baby uncomfortable and cranky. So what do you do when you find out if your baby has oral thrush? Read on to find out the various possible treatments.
First of all, one needs to understand, if the baby really has mouth thrush.
Candida albicans is a fungus present in the mouth and digestive tract of all human beings, including infants, and is considered normal. When the immunity of the body goes down, this fungus can overgrow and lead to infection. The immunity in infants is not fully developed and a slight illness can further break down the immune system. This is when the overgrowth of Candida fungus can take place. It will not only cause mouth thrush but diaper rashes as well.
The symptoms for mouth thrush or oral thrush include cracked skin in the corners of the mouth, white patches on the lips, tongue, and inside of the cheeks and roof of the mouth that look like milk but cannot be cleaned. These can cause the baby to be irritable, especially during feeding. If not treated, these lesions can grow in number and size.
Once you understand the symptoms of mouth thrush, here are the following things you can do for treatment.
1. Let a doctor examine and diagnose:
Even though you understand that it is oral thrush, it is best to let a pediatrician figure out. Get the baby examined and let the doctor prescribe proper treatment.
2. Monitor first:
Since oral thrush in infants doesn’t last more than two weeks, at times doctors might advise monitoring the infection without giving any medication.
3. Give appropriate and timely medicine:
Anti-fungal drops or a gel prescribed by a doctor can be applied inside the mouth and tongue on the infected part. It needs to be applied several times a day for effective results.
4. Breastfeeding babies:
For a breastfeeding baby, the mother’s nipples need to be treated as well to avoid infection to spread further.
It is best to take natural remedies into consideration without resorting to other medicines. Give yogurt to the baby is a good option, as yogurt contains lactobacilli that have good bacteria and can help in eradicating fungus.
6. Natural remedies:
There are many other natural remedies that can be used in mouth thrush condition for babies. These include coconut oil, tea tree oil, garlic oil, baking soda, lemon juice and gentian violet, turmeric and milk paste. Many recommend grapefruit seed extract also, but it has been found to have some other substances as well, so might not be very safe to use.
This is the treatment part, but prevention is better than cure. So to avoid oral thrush, these things can be done:
- For breastfed babies: If the baby is on breastfeed and the mother’s nipples are red and sore, there is a possibility of a yeast infection in the nipples. So to avoid the infection to be carried back and forth from mother to the child, it is better to use an anti-fungal infection on the nipples while the baby is being treated.
- For formula-fed babies: For babies on bottle feed or using pacifiers, it is best to clean the nipples and pacifiers in hot water to avoid fungal infection. Milk should be stored in refrigerators to avoid any fungal growth.
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