Cleaning your baby’s tongue is an important part of maintaining their oral hygiene from a young age. All you need is a clean cloth or a sterilized cotton bud, and some warm water.
There are numerous benefits from making it a duty to clean your baby’s mouth, including keeping germs at bay, helping your baby learn to brush and be accustomed to brushing when he/she grows up, to getting them accustomed to having a clean mouth
READ ALSO: New Report Reveals The Impact Of Poor Oral Health On A Child’s Self-Esteem
Here are 9 simple tips to help you keep your baby’s oral health
1. Have A Routine
Clean your baby’s tongue twice daily; morning and evening, just as you would to brush your teeth as an adult. Begin cleaning your baby’s tongue when they are only a few days old. This helps to form a good routine.
2. Avoid cleaning Immediately After Feeding
Some parents prefer to clean their child’s tongue after every feed, even though cleaning the baby’s tongue through out the day is not necessary . Avoid cleaning your baby’s tongue immediately after feeding as this could cause your them to spit up.
3. Use A Cloth Or Sterilized Cotton Bud
Try cleaning your baby’s tongue with a clean piece of cloth ( gauze or cotton) and use sterilized cotton buds at other times. When you have determined which option works better for you and your baby, stick with it.
Be sure to use a brand new piece of gauze or a new sterilized cotton bud each time. If you are using a cotton cloth, make sure that it is washed after every use.
READ ALSO: How To Care For Your Baby’s Early Teeth
4.Wash Your Hands Before Cleaning Your Baby’s Tongue
Most human illnesses are introduce to the body through the mouth, make sure you wash your hands with warm water and soap, then dry them on a clean towel. This seemingly simple act is important if you want to avoid spreading germs.
5. Moisten The Cloth or Cotton Bud With Warm Water
If you are using a cloth such as a piece of gauze, wrap it around your index finger. Dip either the cotton bud or your finger with the cloth wrapped over it into warm water. It only needs to be slightly moistened an not saturated.
6. Cradle Your Baby with 1 Arm
Choose a comfortable sitting position and hold your baby in one arm, safely securing them by putting their head and body against yours. Keep your other arm free for cleaning your baby’s tongue.
Make sure that you are holding your baby in a way that you can easily see inside their mouth, if your baby is lying down on the bed, you can still use the clean cloth wrapped around your finger to clean their tongue. Remember to not saturate the gauze or cloth with water.
READ ALSO: 8 Reasons Why Self-medicating Could Be Dangerous
7. Gentle Pull Your Baby’s Lower Lip To Open Their Mouth.
To get you baby to open their mouth, gently pull down his lower lip and place your fingertip inside the mouth once it is open. It can be helpful to pick a moment when your baby already has their mouth open or is smiling. You can encourage your baby to smile by talking or singing to them.
8. Clean Baby’s tongue In A Circular Motion
Many babies get fussy when their tongues are being cleaned, so be efficient but gentle. Place the cloth or cotton bud into your baby’s open mouth. Scrape the surface of your baby’s tongue to remove the white coating that is caused by milk. Attempt to clean their whole tongue in one go and be careful not to place your entire finger in your baby’s mouth as this could cause them to gag or spit up.
9. Inspect Your Baby’s Mouth For White Patches.
Despite regularly cleaning your baby’s tongue, it is possible that you find some white patches on it, this may mean that he has oral thrush. Take your baby to visit a doctor for advice and treatment if the white patches don’t clear up in a few days or if your baby has symptoms that you are concerned about.
Oral thrush is a common fungal infection in babies. While it can make your child’s tongue sore and cause fussiness when feeding, it is not a major concern, still you should take your baby to a doctor or a pharmacist (not chemist) to check that everything is okay.
Tags: Baby Tongue, Cleaning, ORAL HEALTH
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