Why Does My Child Drool Non-Stop? 10 Tips to Stop Your Toddler’s Drooling
Many children start drooling in the first two years of life. It’s not abnormal, and parents are aware of that. But what parents are also aware of is the fact that drooling has to stop once the child starts growing. If the child is older and has already started teething yet drooling is still present, it’s important to do your best to stop it. Not only that it’s unpleasant to see, but you surely don’t want your child to drool on another child’s toys, clothes, or just anything in general.
Luckily, all hope is not lost. There are still things you can do to ensure your little one stops drooling and gains control of his/her oral muscles. This article will teach you what you have to do.
Why Does My Child Always Drool?
When you have a child, you expect him/her to drool. After all, the child is not a developed adult, so they do not have control over their bodies the same way adults do. But even still, the parent may ask the question “Why is my child always drooling so much?”
Usually, children grow their “baby” teeth, which leads to drooling. This is something that only happens in the first two-three years of life. By the time the little one reaches that age and teething is complete, the drooling issue might have other causes. This is where the parent starts feeling concerned, looking deeper into the problem.
Saliva has multiple purposes. It helps wash away debris, as well as lubricate the mouth to allow speech, chewing, and swallowing. On top of that, it helps with digestion and also prevents tooth decay. So, it’s not abnormal to see that your child’s mouth produces saliva.
But too much of it is harmful as it can irritate the little one’s skin, causing discomfort as a result. Furthermore, it will stain clothing and other objects. It would also be embarrassing if the kid becomes much older and still has this issue.
More often than not, when the child drools after teething is because they do not have control of the muscles around the mouth and lips. They are not developed yet, and this combined with the lack of control will cause drooling. When a child’s muscles around that area develop and the child is able to control them, then he/she will simply close the lips and swallow frequently in order to deal with the buildup of saliva.
However, there are other causes to keep in mind. For instance, nasal obstructions and oral infections can also lead to this issue. In some instances, medications may also cause excessive drooling. Furthermore, children with neurologic impairments may be slower to develop in this whole process, leading to drooling issues. If the child is very young, then he/she is unaware of the drooling issue and may not understand why you keep wiping their mouth and chin all the time.
How to Stop Drooling in a Toddler?
The great news is that even if it seems like you cannot stop your child’s drooling, there are some ways to do so. The following tips will make sure that you don’t have to see more saliva dripping from your little one’s mouth.
- Use Sweatbands
There is such thing as a sweatband that can help with the drooling issue. A sweatband will come in the form of a wristband actually, and all you have to do is put it on your toddler’s wrist. You only have to make sure you buy a wristband that fits on the little one’s wrist and that it’s comfortable as well.
Wristbands will come in handy because your toddler may simply learn to wipe their own mouth and chin when they’re drooling, getting rid of the excess saliva as a result. They won’t need mom to follow them in every corner of the house to wipe their mouth with a cloth. Of course, in the beginning, you will still serve as a reminder until they get used to it, but once they learn, it will be easy for them to deal with the drooling.
Also, you need to make sure the child knows the difference between a wet and dry chin. If the chin is wet all the time, then the child will simply get used to it and it can become a problem. With the wristband, you will make sure that this doesn’t become an issue.
- Take Away the Pacifier
Pacifiers are useful – they keep the child busy and they will be less likely to insert other objects into their mouths. Not to mention that this might stop their crying. But you should limit the amount of time they use the pacifier. Although useful, pacifiers may not have the best effect on the oral control and speech of the toddler.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to get rid of the pacifier altogether. At first, you can only start reducing the amount of time the child spends with the pacifier in his/her mouth. Use it only if it’s necessary to calm down the little one. Other than that, use it together with a pillow or a blanket, as it may make it easier to stop the child from using it later.
- Use Watches and Timers
Sometimes, you simply need to remind your toddler to swallow in case of saliva buildup. Otherwise, you can expect a total mess around the child’s mouth. You may have to set up timers at some key points during the day when the drooling gets heavier. So, when you’re doing things around the house, don’t forget to set up a timer. This will go off at the right time and you will tell your child to swallow.
Keep in mind that this may not be a total success from the get-go, especially if you’re not used to the times your toddler starts drooling. With a little practice, though, you will master this. It’s best to choose the time that is at least several seconds before the drool starts leaving the mouth and going down the chin. This means that the child will have enough time to swallow before the “disaster” occurs.
Also, if your toddler is already old enough, you can give them their own little watch that offers them a reminder. This is amazing as you will not have to be around at all times. The watch will simply serve as a reminder and the kid will perform the process alone. It’s a step towards improvement.
- Use an Electric Toothbrush
If you want to take it one step further and help your child develop faster, then as shocking as it may sound, an electric toothbrush will help. An electric toothbrush will help to engage the oral sensations of the child when brushing their teeth. Also, make sure you do not use this when the child is teething – only use this method if the teeth are already grown.
In order to perform this method, you will have to start by touching the toothbrush to the lips of the child, and then the cheeks. Do this with the toothbrush turned off. Afterward, move it to the toddler’s tongue, gums, and teeth.
- Use Elbow Splints or Gloves
Children tend to stick their fingers in their mouths a lot. It’s just what they do, and they don’t understand why this is wrong if you simply bug them to stop or you take their hands away from their mouths.
But if you don’t seem to be successful in teaching your child to stop mouthing his/her fingers and even various objects, then you can try something else. Elbow splints or gloves will come in handy as they prevent the child from sticking their fingers in their mouths. As such, there will be less saliva production and ultimately less drooling.
- Start Humming
It’s not unusual to start humming to your favorite songs. Humming requires you to keep your mouth closed, while the vibrations send sensations through your body. So, why not try doing this with your toddler? You can play some music and encourage your child to start humming with you, prompting him/her to keep the mouth closed.
Another thing you can do is play games where the other has to start humming a song while the other participant has to guess it. It’s a fun way to make your child keep his/her mouth closed while having a good time with an interesting game.
- Move to a Sippy Cup
Is your child used to the bottle? Just like with the pacifier, this can have a negative effect on your child in the long run as it promotes drooling. What you can do is upgrade to a sippy cup instead. This will start the development of the muscles as the child will have to use different muscles in order to drink from the cup.
- Use a Straw
Straw drinking is another good way to prevent and stop drooling. After you teach the child to drink from a sippy cup, it’s time to take it one step further and use a straw. The straw will encourage lip closure, and it will also promote different tongue movements and drinking patterns. The child will have to use different muscles as a result, and it will aid him/her in the future. This is because it helps follow the same pattern used in order to stop saliva from dropping from the mouth.
To encourage even better results, you should try the straws with different temperatures. Don’t go to extremes but try warm and colder water in order to give the child different feelings.
- Encourage Them to Play with Food
When we say, “playing with food”, we are not referring by any means to throwing food around the house. We’re talking about trying different mouth movements in order to eat.
For instance, you can encourage the child to take the cheerios cereals (as well as other foods) with their mouth. This can help them shape their lips and tongue and it will lead to better control in the future. Licking yogurt is also a useful way to develop their tongue muscles. On top of that, you can try giving your toddler things like breakfast bars, dried fruit, and anything of the sort to chew on. This is only recommended if your child already stopped teething and is old enough to eat these foods. Doing these exercises will help grow and exercise their oral muscles.
- Stay Away from Acidic Foods
No matter what, your child should not eat any acidic foods or drink any sweet fizzy drinks. It may be tempting to them, but if they already have a drooling problem, these foods will only make the issue worse for them. This is because acidic products will stimulate salivary secretion, so there will be even more saliva and even more drooling. Two examples of such acidic foods are vinegar and lemon. Stay away from them, especially until the child is able to control his/her muscles and keep the mouth closed.
Should You See a Doctor?
Going to a doctor is not always necessary. Most times, you can treat the drooling problem by yourself if you know what to do. However, there are some instances when going to a doctor is necessary.
So, you should definitely take your child to a doctor if the drooling problem is accompanied by fever, choking or inability to breathe, loss of consciousness or seizures, or blisters on the lips or inside the mouth.
If your child has a drooling problem, remember that you’re not alone. Drooling is very common, and most parents have to wipe their little one’s mouth in the first years of life. If the problem persists even as the child is old enough, you should try the tips presented here in order to stop the excessive saliva from dripping down the toddler’s chin. In the end, if you do the right things, your child will develop properly, and the drooling will stop.