Those shallow red ulcers inside cheeks and lips or on the tongue are harmless, but they can hurt -- especially when your child tries to eat or sleep. Over-the-counter pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen) and topical medicines (Anbesol, Orajel, Orabase, Zilactin-B) work well. And these doctor-approved home remedies can also help:
Intense pain interferes with eating and drinking.
The sore persists longer than two weeks. In these cases, your child may need a more potent pain reliever.
Make a mouthwash.For kids over 2, mix a teaspoon of an antihistamine (such as Benadryl) and a tablespoon of an antacid suspension (like Maalox or Mylanta). Every four hours, have your child swish the solution in his mouth, then spit it out. (It's especially effective before meals and bedtime, as the solution temporarily numbs the affected area -- which makes eating and sleeping more comfortable.)
Provide icy relief.Ice pops, frozen fruit bars, and cold drinks deliver a numbing chill, which soothes canker sore pain. (But skip orange, grapefruit, and tomato juice -- they're acidic and can sting.)
Call your doctor if: