Mouth ulcers look like round, white sores on the inner lining of your baby’s mouth. They could also appear on the surface of his gums or tongue. If your baby has come down with a case of mouth ulcers, he is probably in quite a bit of pain and discomfort. Mouth ulcers can be really painful, and our little ones are not as equipped to cope with them as we adults are. Not only do they feel irritated, but the ulcers also interfere with their appetite and desire to eat. This can be harmful for their long-term health, especially if your baby gets ulcers frequently.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers in Babies
While ulcers are a fairly common occurrence, and sometimes pop up for no apparent rhyme or reason, these could be some of the factors affecting your baby:
- Your baby could be suffering from high body heat – internally
- Your baby could be suffering from a food allergy
- If your baby is teething, he may have injured himself by biting the insides of his cheeks
- Your baby may have a deficiency of Vitamin B, iron or zinc
Baby Mouth Ulcer Treatment & Prevention
No matter what the cause, it is critical to treat a mouth ulcer as soon as you spot it. Sometimes, your baby’s irritation and refusal to eat are the first symptoms of an ulcer, so watch out for them even if nothing is visible externally. Take following measures and remedies to cure your baby’s mouth ulcers, and also prevent them from occurring again.
||Note: Please do not use any over the counter antibiotics, gels or tablets without first consulting the paediatrician.
Ensure Your Baby Is Hydrated, Especially In Summer
One prime reason of difficulties in eating and drinking is the lack of hydration. When your baby’s fluid intake is low, it can induce dryness and increase the likelihood of both – the formation as well as the worsening of a mouth ulcer. Plus, when the insides of your baby’s mouth dry up, his pain and discomfort will also increase.
To avoid this, make sure your baby is well hydrated, especially now in the summer season when the chances of dehydration are high. If your baby is being breastfed, it is enough to ensure adequate hydration. For babies older than 6 months, consider increasing intake of fluids such as boiled and cool water, buttermilk, and high-fluid fruits to ensure that there is no dryness in the mouth.
Note: Buttermilk is particularly useful for treating mouth ulcers as it contains lactic acid that helps to curb bacterial growth. You can safely use this Buttermilk With Herbs recipe for babies older than 6 months.
Feed Your Baby ‘Cooling Foods’ To Lower Body Heat
Internal body heat is a leading cause of mouth ulcers in both babies and adults. The heat manifests itself in boils and sores in the mouth region. To prevent this, make sure your baby consumes foods that keep him cool from inside. If your baby is older than 6 months, you can feed him these cooling foods periodically:
Please ensure to not serve anything chunky or hard to digest, especially to babies younger than 1 year. It is best to serve fruits in pureed or mashed form.
- Coconut water
- Cool water (boiled and cooled)
Note: If your baby is struggling with a mouth ulcer, avoid giving him food that is too hot, spicy or tangy, as this can cause further irritation and aggravate the problem.
Use a Paste of Honey & Turmeric
These two wonder ingredients that many moms swear by for several health issues are also effective in treating mouth ulcers! While turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, honey expedites the process of healing. Applying this paste will relieve your baby’s pain and also speed up the healing of the ulcer.
How To Use:
- Mix 2-3 tbsp. of turmeric powder with 1 tbsp. of water, until the mixture becomes a paste
- Apply this paste over the mouth ulcer, using a sterile cotton swab
- Let it be for 1-2 minutes
- Make sure you clean/rinse your baby’s mouth well afterwards
Caution: Don’t use honey for babies under 1 year of age. It is not safe for them to ingest honey.
Make a Healthy, Homemade Ice Lolly
Yes, an ice lolly can actually be a wonderful treatment for mouth ulcers in little ones! The cold sensation from the ice lolly will help numb the area and relieve some of the pain. It will also help your baby get distracted from the source of irritation for a while.
While preparing and serving an ice lolly, it is crucial to remember that you need a healthy, ideally homemade option. Anything that is too sweet, tangy or creamy may not have the desired effect, or even make the problem worse.
How To Make This
- Use a naturally cold fruit such as watermelon (deseeded) for your lolly
- Freeze this, till just before fully solid
- Insert wooden toothpicks into each of the ice cubes and deep freeze
You can also try the Kuchi Ice Popsicle recipe by our Mommy Chef. It has no artificial flavours, is delicious, and also does the magic when it comes to giving your child a cold treat.
Coconut Oil Gargle or Dabbing
This is yet another golden mantra that we Indian moms swear by – the good old coconut! As discussed above, coconut is a cooling food for the body. It is also an effective ulcer remedy when used in the oil form for gargling or dabbing. This is because it contains a high amount of lauric acid which is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
How To Use
If your baby is older than 6 months, you can administer a few spoons of virgin coconut oil. It is also effective to feed coconut water, or make the kids gargle with coconut milk. Dabbing coconut oil on the ulcer is also a powerful remedy.
Coriander Seeds Gargle
Coriander seeds (or dhaniya ke beej) is a spice that many of us introduce in baby foods at an early age. If your baby is older than 6 months, you may have added a pinch to foods like sambhar, dal or other gravies. But here’s the good news: an infusion of coriander seeds is also an effective Ayurvedic remedy to bring relief from ulcers! It can also reduce the inflammation, thus speeding up healing.
How To Make
- Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water
- Strain it and allow it to cool
- Use this to rinse your baby’s mouth 3-4 times a day
When To See The Paediatrician
Using the above preventive and curative measures will ensure that your baby is protected from mouth ulcers. However, in certain cases, medical attention may be required. Please consult the paediatrician for treatment if:
- The ulcer doesn’t subside after 1-2 weeks or your baby gets it very frequently
- The ulcer looks infected with pus
- Your baby also has fever along with the ulcer
- The ulcer is outside the mouth. This could signal a cold sore which is highly contagious and needs medical treatment
Do you know any more remedies for mouth ulcers in babies? Is there something that worked really well for your child? Do let us know in the comments below.