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Your newborn may not have teeth yet, but that doesn’t mean you don’t give importance to his dental hygiene. Along with optimal nutrition, it is very important to maintain healthy dental hygiene in newborns. Most new parents ask how they can clean their babies’ tongue because it’s not an easy task! If you have a baby, he might cry while you clean his tongue, making the job harder for you! But it is important that you clean his tongue and keep his mouth healthy and fresh.
Why Do You Need to Clean Your Baby’s Tongue?
One of the simplest, yet most important tasks of our everyday oral hygiene involves cleaning the tongue. But in newborns, this simple task can be quite difficult to perform. Proper cleaning of the tongue regularly helps prevent bad breath and bacterial accumulations and lowers the risk of oral infections and gum diseases.
You should clean and massage your baby’s mouth even before the eruption of teeth as cleaning and massaging the baby’s gums in the initial stages can help in the process of teething and ensure proper dental hygiene.
How to Clean an Infant’s Tongue
Whether or not your baby has teeth, you need to clean his mouth and tongue and maintain proper oral hygiene. If you want to know how you can clean your baby’s tongue, follow the steps given below.
- In order to clean your baby’s tongue, the first thing you will need to do is clean your hands. Ensure that your hands are clean before you start the procedure. You can clean your baby’s tongue using a gauze or finger cloth wrapped around your fingers. You can even use tongue-cleaners available in the medical stores.
- For instance, if you take gauze, moisten the gauze with warm water and wrap it around your finger. Then rest your baby in a comfortable position by cradling him in your one arm and use your other hand to clean the mouth.
- Gently open your baby’s mouth and put your finger inside to clean the tongue.
- Once you put the finger inside, gently scrape the tongue in a circular motion.
- After cleaning the tongue finish the procedure by massaging the baby’s teeth (if he has teeth) and gums in a gentle manner.
- You can also use gum cleaners to remove the build-ups. However, if the cleaners fail to remove the build-ups, then consult the doctor for further advice. Avoid using a fluoride paste or fluoride items as the baby can ingest the fluoride in it.
- This cleaning procedure needs to be performed at least once a day preferably after feeding.
- Doctors recommend using soft brushes that are specially designed for babies to clean a baby’s tongue and cavities. If you want to use one for your baby, it is suggested that you consult a doctor and choose the one suggested by your baby’s doctor.
Things to Keep in Mind
In order to ensure proper oral hygiene for your baby, here are certain things that you will need to do.
- As soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts, you must take him for regular dental visits. Regular dental visits are recommended as soon as the baby’s first tooth becomes visible (which generally happens between 3 and 9 months of age).
- Get a complete dental examination of your baby and fluoride status review as per doctor’s advice.
- If you have any concerns related to your child’s dental health, speak to your dentist about it. If you have any concerns related to nursing or bottle-feeding for your baby, discuss with your doctor.
- Follow the dentist’s instructions on how to keep the infant’s mouth clean.
Additional Tips to Clean Your Baby’s Tongue
You already know how to clean your baby’s tongue step-by-step, but we have some more tips that will provide answers to any query you may have concerning oral hygiene for your baby. The tips stated below are more like precautionary measures – so don’t skip them!
- Using water is the best way to clean the baby’s tongue. Use a piece of soft gauze or cotton cloth to dip into warm water and clean the tongue. However, make sure that the water is not too hot for your baby as it may hurt your baby.
- Engage your little one in any interesting activity while cleaning his tongue.
- If you see white particles glued to the baby’s tongue, then it can be cleaned using a tiny drop of toothpaste, but be sure to rinse it off thoroughly or else your baby might swallow the toothpaste.
- Clean the gums and the inside of his cheeks thoroughly while cleaning the tongue.
- Some babies become cranky and do not allow to clean their mouth. If your little one is irritable while you clean his tongue, wait until he is in a good mood.
- Last but not least, take your baby for regular dental visits.
1. When Should I Start Brushing My Baby’s Teeth?
You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as early as his first tooth erupts. You can use a clean, damp cloth, a gauze pad, or a finger brush to clean his first teeth and tongue. Once his teeth start erupting, gently brush his teeth in the morning and before his bedtime.
2. Can I Use Toothpaste to Brush My Baby’s Teeth?
You can use a fluoride toothpaste to brush his teeth, however, the amount of toothpaste used should not be more than a smear or the size of a rice grain.
It’s never too early to start paying attention to the oral hygiene of your baby. Cleaning your baby’s tongue and teeth will go a long way in ensuring proper oral hygiene – so clean your baby’s mouth on a regular basis and keep him happy!
Also Read: Oral Thrush in Babies