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 called candida 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 leading to tongue white 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 white, 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.
Oral thrush remedies for babies:
Once you understand the symptoms of mouth thrush, here are the following things you can do for oral thrush treatment.
1. Let a doctor examine and diagnose
Even though you understand that it is oral thrush, it is best to let a paediatrician figure it out. Get the baby examined and let the doctor prescribe the 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 and permanently cure the candida infection.
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. Giving yoghurt to the baby is a good option, as yoghurt contains lactobacilli that have good bacteria and can help in eradicating the fungus.
6. Natural remedies
There are many other natural remedies that can be used in mouth thrush conditions for babies. These include coconut oil, tea tree oil, garlic oil, baking soda, lemon juice, 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 it 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 breastfed 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 being carried back and forth from mother to 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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