It is very important to clean baby’s tongue, it holds equal importance as cleaning his teeth. However it is a very delicate task, cause if done in a wrong manner it might harm the baby. Parents need to take utmost care while cleaning baby’s tongue as it is bound to make them feel irritated. But, it is necessary. This guide to clean baby’s tongue & mouth might help all the parents, especially mothers, to get things sorted.
Thus from an early age as the baby grows one has to make a habit of cleaning his mouth i.e teeth and tongue. Sometimes they can be really obstinate and difficult to handle. So to overcome this you can use some tricks and try to lure them into cleaning in a playful manner instead of forcing them.
Why is it necessary to clean baby’s tongue?
Tongue is an important organ of our body and helps us in tasting food and even in articulating our speech. Surface of tongue is covered with 4 types of papillae ,where sometimes food and even bacteria gets trapped in leading to bad breath. Further the bacteria on tongue might get deposited on teeth and cause plaque.
So you have to make this a part of his oral hygiene and do flossing and brushing twice a day it will more beneficial. There are different methods and manners for cleaning babies tongue according to their age which are elucidated below.
For Babies Under 1 Year
Firstly you should be aware about the things which can be used to clean babies tongue. You can use piece of cloth or gauge,but it should be clean and sterilized. You can even use sterilized baby ear buds which are available in market or you can even buy it online. Even avoid using fluoridated items and toothpaste as babies can ingest it.
Always before starting ensure your hands are clean and the material you are using is sterilized.
Now wrap the cloth around your finger and take clean warm water and dip your finger or earbud in it.
Then hold the child in one hand and you can pamper and cradle him so he will have a sense of security and affection. And use the second hand to clean his tongue.
In order to open his mouth put lips on his finger and then gently put your finger or bud in his mouth, ruling it gently over the surface of his tongue,also avoid getting into deep as it might harm him.
Moreover you can use cleaners which are especially made for infants, if build-up is not removed. And even if after using a cleaner if build-up is not removed you should consult a pediatrician.
Sometimes you can even use a toothpaste if you are unable to remove the particles, but be careful that the mouth is rinsed properly after using the toothpaste. As a matter of fact, it is essential that you choose toothbrush & toothpaste for babies carefully. Babies should be exposed to a toothbrush that fits them and helps them have fun while cleaning mouth. Choosing the best toothbrush for babies, without any doubt should be the first step.
Same goes for toothpaste as well. The new born teeth are different than the ones we adults and children of age 5 and above have. Naturally, the tender teeth would be rubbed against the toothpaste, specifically made for babies. We have already compiled a list of best toothpaste for babies on Care Like Mum blog. If you haven’t yet rewarded your baby with a dedicated toothpaste, I highly recommend to do it right now.
It has also been observed that sometimes babies don’t let you clean their tongue no matter how much you try, in such cases you a take a visit to a specialist and discuss your problems with him.
Sometimes babies are prone to have mouth thrush because of less developed immunity system. In such cases you should have knowledge about it .
If your baby does not want to be fed and has white coating on his tongue even after cleaning it is likely to be a mouth thrush. Occasionally it might be caused by antibiotics and if it retains further than you should consult a pediatrician.
How To Avoid Mouth Thrush?
- Provide your baby with sterilized soothers only
- Feeding bottles should be cleaned properly
- Thrush in the nipples can expose baby to fungus thus make sure you clean them well before feeding and after feeding them.
- You should clean your hands properly after changing your diapers as well as before cleaning his mouth.
- At the same time, you should not give your baby any fungal medication without consulting a doctor
For Babies 2-5 years old
In this age, cleaning of teeth and tongue are very important as food intake of child will increase and more amount of food and bacteria will get stuck on his tongue. Thus always clean tongue after brushing and provide him a little amount of toothpaste while brushing.
It has been noticed that, babies at this age tend to be more stubborn and hard to manage.Thus you should try to make tongue cleaning more interesting for him by telling him stories and at the same time try to play with him while cleaning his tongue.
Further, at this age you can use brush to clean but avoid scrapper as it may damage his taste buds. At the same time make sure you don’t apply much force while using a brushing as it might hurt him.
So these are some tips and methods by which you can clean your babies tongue and once again I would like to remind you to be careful while cleaning and take him frequently to dentists and pediatrician for regular checkups.