Treating and Preventing Thrush

Thrush is an infection that is caused by an imbalance of yeast in a baby’s mouth. We all have yeast in our mouths which aides in digestion. The same yeast, candida albicans, is also the culprit of diaper rashes and vaginal yeast infections.

Oral thrush can affect baby’s of any age, yet those under six months of age are most likely to develop the infection. Though it may not seem to bother baby at all, in adults the symptoms include a burning feeling and discomfort swallowing. ┬áThe infection can occur in and around baby’s mouth. It is visible and easily identified by its white patches. These patches cannot be rubbed away and may spread over time. Since the same yeast is involved in thrush as diaper rash, the two can occur at the same time. Extra care should be taken to change diapers frequently to prevent additional troubles with yeast. Additional risks include a breastfeeding mom taking antibiotics. Antibiotics can cause an unhealthy amount of yeast to accumulate.

The key to treatment is to not only remedy the excess yeast but prevent passing it back. Thrush can be passed between mother to baby and also from items that come into contact with baby’s mouth. It can also be passed while breastfeeding. Extra care should be taken to keep nipples clean and be mindful of any signs of a yeast issue on them as well. They can be treated separately if necessary to prevent thrush from lingering.

Bottles should be sterilized in boiling water after each use, especially the nipples. Pacifiers can be a huge culprit for yeast issues since used throughout the day. They should be gathered together once a day and sterilized using boiling water in the same way you would a bottle nipple.

Thrush is treated by a prescription anti fungal. The medicine is then placed in baby’s mouth using a cotton swab. There is no need to rinse the medication out since it needs to stay in the area as long as possible.

Older babies may be also given lactobacilli containing yogurt. This will naturally replace the balance of good bacteria to control the amount of yeast in baby’s mouth.

Reoccuring cases of thrush may be a sign of other health issues. Since the body’s ability to balance yeast is tied to the immune system, a pediatrician should be consulted every time baby gets a case of thrush.


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