Canker sores are common, shallow ulcers that appear inside the mouth for a variety of reasons such as changes in diet, hormones, injury and stress. They are painful and annoying, but they usually go away on their own. They are not contagious.
Braces do not cause canker sores, but they can bring them on when getting new braces or if a wire is poking. If your child has a canker sore, skip the orange juice and other acidic foods. Scratchy foods like chips and pretzels can also make the mouth feel worse, so avoid those as well. Same for spicy foods.
Here’s an interesting fact about canker sores: they can run in families. If your family is prone to them, check your dental products to make sure they are free of sodium laurel sulfite. This foaming agent can be irritating to some. Certain medications can also cause mouth issues, which is why we ask what medications patients are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Don’t brush or poke canker sores, and tell your child to leave them alone. Pain relief such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen used as directed can help. If you or your child are having numerous and/or exceptionally painful canker sores, talk to your dental professional for further treatment options.
Source: American Association of Orthodontics
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