|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Causes & Health Information|
- White, odd shaped patches in the mouth
- Coats the inner cheeks or inner lips
- Sometimes also coats the tongue
- Sticks to the mouth. It can't be washed away or wiped off easily like milk curds.
- Sometimes causes a painful mouth, decreased sucking and reduced milk intake
- Mild discomfort or no symptoms in most newborns
- The infant is bottle-fed or breast-fed
- Caused by a yeast (called Candida)
- Occurs on parts of the mouth involved with sucking
- Made worse by friction from too much time sucking on a pacifier
White Tongue Alone: Not Thrush
- If a white tongue is the only finding, it’s not due to thrush.
- A milk diet often causes a white coated tongue.
- This is normal.
- It will go away after your baby starts eating solid foods.
- If white patches occur inside the lips or cheeks, call your child’s doctor. It's safe to call during office hours.
Return to Child Care
- Thrush cannot be spread to others, since it does not invade normal skin. Your child can go to child care with thrush.
|CARE ADVICE FOR THRUSH (Use this until you talk with your doctor)|
- What You Should Know:
- Thrush is common during the early months of life.
- It's caused by a yeast infection in the mouth. Most often, it's due to prolonged sucking.
- Thrush causes only mild discomfort. It's easy to treat at home.
- Here is some care advice that should help until you call your doctor.
- Anti-Yeast Medicine:
- Your doctor will probably prescribe an anti-yeast liquid medicine. Use it as follows:
- Use 1 ml (2 ml if over age 1 month). Place in the front of the mouth on each side. Also, put it wherever you see the thrush. It doesn't do any good once it's swallowed.
- Do this 4 times per day.
- If the thrush isn't getting better, rub the medicine directly on the thrush. Use a cotton swab to do this.
- Don't feed your baby anything for 30 minutes after the medicine.
- Keep this up for at least 7 days. Also, continue it until all thrush has been gone for 3 days.
- Decrease Sucking Time to 20 Minutes per Feeding:
- Reason: Too much sucking can irritate the lining of the mouth. This makes it more prone to a yeast infection. A common example of this is when a baby sleeps with a bottle.
- For severe mouth pain with bottle feeding, don't use a bottle. Reason: The nipple can make pain worse.
- Try giving fluids in a cup, spoon or syringe instead.
- Limit Pacifier Use:
- Too much sucking on a pacifier can irritate the mouth.
- Limit pacifier use to times when nothing else will calm your baby.
- If your infant is using an orthodontic pacifier, switch to a smaller, regular one. Reason: Bigger ones can cause more friction in the mouth.
- Special washing or boiling of pacifiers or bottle nipples is not needed nor helpful.
- If the mother's nipples are red and sore, it's probably a yeast infection.
- Use Lotrimin cream on the nipple area.
- No prescription is needed.
- Put it on 4 times per day AFTER feedings.
- Diaper Rash:
- If there's a bad diaper rash, it can also be due to yeast.
- Use Lotrimin cream on the diaper rash.
- No prescription is needed.
- Put it on 4 times per day.
- See DIAPER RASH care guide.
- Return to Child Care:
- Thrush cannot be spread to others, since it does not invade normal skin.
- Your child can go to child care with thrush.
- What to Expect:
- With treatment, thrush usually clears up in 4 to 5 days.
- Without treatment, it clears up in 2-8 weeks.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Starts drinking less than normal
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
This free app has a symptom checker,
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/1/2012
Last Revised: 1/13/2013
Content Set: Child Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.