Help your child fight canker sores with these tips


Canker sores are nothing but painful mouth ulcers. Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, develop inside your mouth, such as gums, inside cheeks, and sometimes under your tongue. Unlike cold sores, it doesn't occur on lips. They are not transmissible, but they are uncomfortable. It is a widespread oral issue affecting one out of every five children. Canker sores often run in families, and they will go away independently when you take proper care.


Causes and symptoms of canker sores

Canker sores in kids occur because of various factors, but the actual reason is still a mystery. Some of the causes include vitamin deficiency, allergies, and sometimes hereditary. Your kid's pediatrician can quickly diagnose canker sores, particularly when it reoccurs consistently. Some of the common symptoms of canker sores in kids are

  • Small and painful blisters
  • A white or yellow color coating with a red color outline
  • Sometimes appears in clusters

Tips for rapid healing of canker sores in a child

Canker sores in kids might be common, but they are pretty painful. Usually, they heal on their own within two weeks or so. If you want to relieve your kid from canker sore pain and speed up healing, there are a few things you can follow 

  • Brushing teeth: When your child has a canker sore, they will not agree to carry on their regular brushing and cleaning of the mouth as it causes pain. But it is vital for your child not to stop caring for their teeth. When your child's mouth is clean, it helps in preventing sores from appearing and rectifying the present canker sores. Act gently, be patient, and make your child know that a clean mouth means a healthy mouth. To make it less painful, use a soft toothbrush. When your child's toothbrush has soft bristles, it will not irritate their gums. Tell your child not to brush on the canker sores. In addition, make sure they are using a child-safe toothbrush.


  • Use mouth wash and dental flossing: After brushing your child, assist them in flossing their teeth. Until the sores heal, skip flossing areas next to the sores. Avoid using fingers as it will aggravate the sores rather than heal them. If your child is older, swishing and spitting an alcohol-free and anti-microbial mouthwash helps. Finish this oral health care routine by putting on a children's safe oral gel on each canker sore that has a soothing effect on the pain. You can make use of a soft cotton swab for applying medication.


  • Diet tips for canker sores: Diet also plays a significant role in healing your child's canker sores. Avoid spicy and seasoned foods as they further irritate the sores. 
  • Give your child a soft and bland diet. 
  • Some foods that have a soothing effect on the sores which can be given include scrambled eggs, yogurt, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, steamed vegetables, pancakes, protein shakes, and applesauce. 
  • As per the American Dental Association's recommendation, foods rich in vitamins A and C, protein, and zinc can help heal canker sores early in your child. 
  • Ensure your child is drinking a lot of fluid. 
  • Do not include cold beverages such as ice water, dilute grape juice, and milk, as it will irritate the sores rather than heal them.


Even if Canker sores are painful, you must motivate your child not to stop their routine oral care. Be patient as canker sores take 1 to 2 weeks to heal completely. To help your child with rapid healing, take your child to a dentist who can help get rid of the painful canker sores. Please use alcohol-free dental products and feed them a diet consisting of bland and soft foods until your child's mouth is good. Or you can also log onto MyDentalPlan- India’s Largest Dental Network platform that will give you access to several dentists to choose from for your child to help them with their oral issues.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.



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