It sounds strange: cleaning your baby’s tongue, but it’s one of those things that needs to be done in order for your baby to have a healthy smile. We all clean our teeth every day, so it makes sense to clean your baby’s mouth out too.
When do you clean your baby’s tongue?
If you are like most people, you probably brush your teeth at least once or twice a day. This should be a general rule of thumb for your baby as well. Starting a good oral hygiene routine at a young age is crucial in helping your baby maintain a healthy lifestyle. Oral hygiene often runs parallel to a person’s overall health, so you should be sure to take good care of your baby’s mouth.
Try cleaning your baby’s mouth when they are in a good mood. You want your little one to grow up with a positive mindset about oral hygiene. Cleaning their mouths should be enjoyable, not just a chore. If your baby is having a hard time with you cleaning their tongue, try a reward system to put a positive spin on it.
When you clean your baby’s tongue and mouth, cradle your baby and make them as comfortable as possible. Try to get your baby to open their mouth on their own in order to clean. Try brushing their cheek or making them smile. If this does not work, gently pull down their bottom lip and insert your finger into their mouth. Make sure you do not put your finger too far into their mouth and choke them or make them gag. Again, you want this to be an enjoyable time for both you and your baby.
You should begin brushing your baby’s tongue as soon as possible. Your baby puts a lot of things in their mouths so it is important to keep it clean.
How to clean your baby’s tongue
As mentioned earlier, it is important to begin a good oral hygiene routine with your baby as soon as possible. Since most babies are not born with teeth, you will begin by cleaning your baby’s tongue, gums and the sides of their mouths.
When you begin cleaning your baby’s mouth before they have teeth, cleaning your baby’s mouth is pretty simple. Use a clean, damp washcloth or a piece of gauze, place it over your finger, and then use your finger to clean your baby’s mouth. Clean your baby’s gums by moving your finger in a circular motion gently. This motion is just the same as when you clean your own teeth. To clean their tongue, simply wipe the tongue with the clean and damp washcloth to get any residual milk or food off of their tongue. Clean the insides of their cheeks in the same way.
Rinse out the washcloth as needed during the cleaning so that you aren’t just moving the milk and food around. Use a clean washcloth or a new piece of gauze each time you clean your baby’s mouth to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
When do you start using a toothbrush?
According to healthychildren.org, most babies will get their first teeth between six and twelve months. Until then, keep cleaning your baby’s mouth and tongue with a clean washcloth. When your baby sprouts their first tooth, you can begin to use an infant toothbrush.
I know you’re probably excited to start brushing your baby’s first tooth with a toothbrush (tiny baby toothbrushes are just adorable) but wait for your baby’s tooth to come all the way in. When your baby is getting their first tooth, it can be painful for them. Give the tooth and the gums plenty of time to come in and recover if your baby’s gums were inflamed. If you start brushing your baby’s tooth before their gums have a chance to recover, it might be painful for your baby and they may grow to hate getting their teeth brushed.
Types of Infant Toothbrushes
When you are ready to start brushing those tiny little pearly whites, be sure to use an infant toothbrush. These toothbrushes are small and easy to move around in your baby’s mouth. You can also begin using an infant training toothpaste. Training toothpaste typically does not have fluoride in it and is safe if swallowed. Be sure to read the labels on the toothpaste and check with your doctor or pediatric dentist first if you have any questions.
Different Types of Infant Toothpaste
According to mouthhealthy.org, you can use a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste for your infant once their first tooth comes in. You should only use a grain of rice sized amount, but this little bit can pack a punch. If your tap water does not have fluoride in it or if your baby only drinks bottled water, you should use a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste for your baby to prevent tooth decay.
Keeping your baby’s tongue, gums and mouth clean is an essential part of your baby’s overall hygiene routine. Make sure that you clean your baby’s mouth regularly to prevent tooth decay and to help keep their gummy smile extra cute!
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