Canker Sores in Kids: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Canker Sores in Kids: Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentsCauses of Canker Sores in Kids Symptoms of Canker Sores in Kids Treating Canker Sores in Kids

Canker sores are not contagious, but they can be uncomfortable. A common problem in children, canker sores are painful mouth ulcers affecting one out of every five individuals.

Causes of Canker Sores in Kids

Medically termed aphthous ulcers, canker sores can be tied to a number of varying factors. However, the actual cause of canker sores remains a mystery. Vitamin deficiencies, food allergies, and even genetics all play a role.

Symptoms of Canker Sores in Kids

Canker sores can be easily diagnosed by your pediatrician, especially if the sore is recurring. Common symptoms include:

  • Small, painful blisters in and around the mouth
  • White or yellowish coating with a red outline
  • May appear in small clusters

Canker sores in kids may be common, but they are also painful. However, the sores usually heal on their own within two weeks. To alleviate the pain and expedite healing there are several things you can do to help your child if he or she has a canker sore.

Treating Canker Sores in Kids

If your child experiences canker sores more than two or three times a year with severe pain associated with an outbreak, see your pediatrician for treatment right away.

For less severe cases of canker sores there are a few things you can do, if approved by your child’s doctor:

  • Lessen the pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Avoid abrasive foods that can irritate the gums, cheeks, and tongue
  • Keep away from foods your child is allergic to
  • Avoid spicy, overly salty, and acidic foods
  • Gently brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Encourage daily brushing and flossing to limit infection
  • Swap out your kids’ toothpaste for a gentler formula with a mild flavor
  • Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash to remove bacteria and aid healing

If your child’s canker sore continues to be a bother, your pediatrician may prescribe a special ointment or mouthwash to use.


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