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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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What Medications Could Damage Your Child's Teeth?

Posted on 5/10/2017 by Cynthia Pelley
A collection of pills pouring out of a bottle.
Medication is everywhere. We use it when we have a headache or if our allergies start flare up. If we get a cold, our first stop is usually the pharmacy.

If we get really sick, we often go the doctor, and are usually prescribed some kind of medicine. Children also use medication. However, some medications can actually do serious damage to their teeth.


Antibiotics are used to fight infections. Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, doxycycline and oxytetracylin, can damage a child's permanent teeth. They can give permanent teeth a yellowish or brownish color, and this color cannot be fixed. They most often affect children under the age of seven. Even pregnant women are advised not to take these medications, as they can even affect a child in the womb.

Aspirin is a go-to for headaches, fevers and other aches and pains. It is also acidic. This acidity is not normally a problem when properly taken. Aspirin should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Chewing a tablet or leaving it in the mouth by the teeth can release the acidity in the mouth, damaging tooth enamel.

Asthma Medication

Some children grow up with asthma. Some medications used to treat this bronchial problem are highly acidic. When used over a long period of time, these medications can harm the enamel, much like aspirin.

Antihistamines are used often to treat allergy symptoms, reducing swelling. These medications can also cause dry mouth, meaning bacteria has a perfect growing environment. It also increases the risk of gum issues.

Liquid Medicines
Many children's medications, including pain relievers, fever reducers and cold medicine, come in liquid forms and made in enticing flavors. In order to make these medicines taste so good, they contain sugar. Sugar is the perfect food for bacteria, raising the risk of tooth decay.

We rely on medication, not only to alleviate our own pains, but the pains of our children as well. Be aware of what these medications can do to their teeth and make sure they drink plenty of water and always maintain their proper brushing routine.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about medications effects on your oral health.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202