Oral Thrush in babies is a fungus infection caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. Only newborn babies are susceptible to thrush. As a child grows, he or she will go beyond the clutches of thrush. Healthy adults and children are usually immune to thrush. Thrush is harmless initially and easy to treat if treated properly.
How to Identify Thrush
It could be a yeast infection known as thrush which resembles cottage cheese or milk curds on the sides, roof, and sometimes the tongue of a baby's mouth. It's most common in babies two months and younger, but it can appear in older babies, too.
Causes of Thrush
- Yeast is a part of digestive system, but any imbalance results in infection. Babies are most prone to infection because of week immune system. Thrush could be the result when hormonal changes right after birth cause an overgrowth of yeast in their baby's mouth.
- Antibiotics taken by the mother could enter the baby’s mouth when breastfeeding. These could kill off the bacteria keeping the yeast in check.
- Thrush could also result for prolonged sucking on a milk bottle or pacifier. Poor hygiene could result in infected bottles which could end up as thrush in babies.
Treatment of Thrush
- Coat the baby's mouth with a medicine such as nystatin suspension or miconazole gels three to four times a day for five to seven days.
- If this treatment fails, which is rare, a single dose of the oral fungicide Diflucan could be used.
- If six month plus babies get affected by thrush, they should be taken to a physician. This indicates an immune deficiency.
- If the mother is breastfeeding a baby with thrush, she should apply Nystatin or Lotramin to her nipples so that she and the baby won't pass the infection back and forth.
Prevention of Thrush
- Mothers with symptoms of yeast infections should be treated in their last three months of pregnancy.
- Don’t allow family members and visitors put their fingers in the baby's mouth.
- Feed the baby with thoroughly cleaned bottles if needed.