150 E. 77th Street
Suite 1E
(212) 355-1003

Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease

Nov 17, 2017

My sister-in-law, Dr. Jessica Long, is a fabulous pediatrician in Washington, DC. She recently blogged about the dreaded Hand Foot & Mouth Disease, which got me thinking – I should touch upon this too! For those of you lucky enough to have not encountered this viral illness yet, here’s a brief summary on what it is:

  • Hand, Foot and Mouth is a viral infection caused by the Coxsackie Virus, in the family of Enteroviruses
  • It causes an unpleasant rash on the hands, feet, and mouth; this rash is not really itchy, but rather more painful/uncomfortable with occasional blistering
  • The virus mostly affects infants, toddlers, and young children
  • It typically causes fever, sore throat, general malaise & irritability
  • It should resolve uneventfully in about 7-10 days

I often see children with Hand Foot and Mouth in the Fall, when parents report that their little one is having a hard time eating, not letting them brush, and that their gums are bleeding. As Dr. Long put it, “If you haven’t been plagued by this viral illness yet, your time will eventually come.  Nearly every child is struck by this rash during their early childhood.  It is typically harmless and lasts about a week but boy does it make for sleepless nights and lots of phone calls and office visits from uncomfortable families.”

While there is no quick fix for this illness, the main goal is to keep your child as comfortable and hydrated as possible. Children are especially prone to dehydration, and the mouth sores can make it challenging to get your little one to drink. Children’s Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can help, as well as popsicles and other frozen things to help ensure your child gets her necessary fluids.

Check out Dr. Long’s post for more tips on how to manage this viral illness.

We’ve Moved!

Oct 22, 2017

Brush that Tongue!

Sep 27, 2017

Just a friendly reminder to also brush your child’s tongue! The tongue is like a sponge in terms of holding bacteria, which can contribute to bad breath and poor oral hygiene. So make sure you also get the tongue during your routine brushing and flossing! For more info, go HERE.

Gummy Vitamins: Yes or No?

Aug 6, 2017

Gummy Vitamins

Increasingly, I find that more and more kids are eating gummy vitamins. After all, they taste delicious and are an easy way to make sure kids are getting their necessary supplements. However, a recent article in Parents magazine highlights the downsides of these vitamins.  Pediatrician, Natalie Muth, MD, RDN, warns of the 3 major pitfalls to gummy vitamins:

  1. Sugar Content: A serving of gummy vitamins typically contains nearly a teaspoon of sugar. That’s a lot when you consider the fact that the recommended limit is only six teaspoons a day.
  2. Mirrors Candy: Gummy vitamins look and taste like candy. Some are even coated in sugar, making them seem more like Sour Patch Kids than a supplement. So kids may be tempted to take more than they need—which can be harmful, especially if the vitamin contains iron, which the body only needs in small amounts.
  3. Increases Cavities: Gummy vitamins can wedge into the grooves of your teeth, which is the same as having sugar stuck on your tooth for long periods of time. The longer or more frequent that sugar is clinging to your tooth, the higher the risk for development of cavities. This concept is also true for fruit snacks, dried fruit, and raisins… see our previous blog post here for more thoughts on sticky snacks.

Overall, Dr. Muth advises to stay away from gummy vitamins. She recommends consulting with your pediatrician to see if your child even needs a vitamin (most children do not!). And if your child does need a vitamin, then try to stick with the chewable kind instead of the gummies. From a teeth perspective, if your child does require a vitamin, then encourage your kiddo to wash everything down with water after to try to get any residual vitamin off the teeth.

© 2014 Dr. Jennifer Fountain, DDS.
All rights reserved.