Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once is not enough to remove the harmful bacteria from your child’s mouth. Cleaning their tongue is an essential part of every child’s routine dental care.
The tongue acts like a sponge, which can hold the majority of bacteria found in the mouth. Bacteria can adhere on the rough surface of the tongue. Although the tongue doesn’t decay like teeth can, it can allow bacteria to proliferate causing dental cavities and tooth decay. With proper technique, tongue brushing can remove bacteria, prevent dental cavities and gum disease, as well as relieve bad breath.
When cleaning the tongue, children can use their toothbrush to brush it gently. A thin mucus layer keeps food residues and bacteria trapped in the nooks and crannies of the tongue. Therefore, we advise using a little bit of toothpaste when brushing your child’s tongue. Start brushing at the back of the tongue, working forward. Include the top of the tongue when brushing and then after cleaning the tongue, rinse with water to flush away residues.
Children can also use a tongue scraper. A tongue scraper is good for cleaning the tongue thoroughly. It is made of soft, flexible plastic that can gently scrape away the mucus-based layer of food residue and bacteria from your child’s tongue.
Brushing the tongue should be done at least twice a day, in the morning and at night before going to sleep. Make sure your children adhere to this routine so they can form a healthy dental habit that they will remember into adulthood.
If you have questions regarding tongue cleaning for children, contact us at Kids Dental Group in Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville. Our pediatric dental team will help your child keep a healthy and beautiful smile!
– The Kids Dental Group Team