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How to clean baby mouth? Taking care of their oral hygiene

How to clean baby mouth

📄 Table of Contents

Even though your baby doesn’t have teeth, that doesn’t imply that dental care isn’t essential for them. In fact, cleaning the baby’s mouth like a month-old newborn is necessary, even before the first teeth sprout.

Bacteria reside in babies’ mouths; some are helpful, others are harmful. Adults have enough saliva (along with other oral hygiene products) to help keep the nasty germs away. Babies, however, do not. Thus it becomes our job as parents to help them wash away the milky residue (that strange white coating) that forms in their baby’s tongues after a meal.

Cleaning Baby’s Mouth 

Cleaning a baby’s mouth is a pretty straightforward procedure. We all have a habit of taking care of our oral health, and taking care of your baby’s mouth is no different.

When they don’t have teeth

Before they start teething, warm water and a rag or gauze are the only things you’ll need to clean your baby’s mouth.

  • Firstly, wash your hands properly with soap and water.
  • Lay your baby on your lap and cradle their head in one arm to begin cleaning. Make sure you hold your baby in a relaxed position, and you must be able to look inside their mouth with ease.
  • Then moisten gauze or a soft clean washcloth with warm water and wrap it over your finger. Soak the gauze in water until it is damp and not wet.
  • Open the baby’s mouth carefully and softly rub their upper and lower gums and the insides of their cheeks.
  • Lastly, use your damp cloth or gauze to wipe their tongue in a circular motion gently.

You can also use a delicate finger brush to gently clean your baby’s tongue and gums until they’re a little older

After sprouting teeth

Use a small, soft toothbrush when your child’s teeth begin to sprout, which usually happens around the baby’s 6th-month mark.

  • Hold the bristles of the toothbrush at an angle along a row of teeth against the gum line.
  • Brushing back and forth can cause gum and tooth damage. That is why it’s better to brush in a circular motion.
  • Make sure to cover every tooth and scrub every side gently.
  • Lastly, use the toothbrush and brush over the tongue as well.

As soon as the first tooth breaks away, start using fluoride toothpaste. Use roughly the equivalent of a grain of rice for a newborn who is under the age of three. Graduate to a pea-sized quantity for children aged three and up.

Keep in mind that you need to teach children to spit out before they use toothpaste, but if they don’t, it’s okay if they accidentally swallow these minimal amounts.

Tips to Take Care of Baby’s Oral Hygiene

Maintaining the oral hygiene of children is challenging. That is mainly because not every parent is aware of oral hygiene and the do’s and don’t. We try our best to provide safe and clean products for our baby to feed; however, we don’t realize that the problem is not taking enough care of the baby’s mouth.

  • Never let your kid fall asleep with a bottle of formula or breastmilk. Remove the bottle or breast if the kid isn’t feeding anymore.
  • Clean your baby’s gums with a nice damp towel after each meal or twice a day. Massage their gums gently until all the baby food or milk residue is cleared. 
  • By the age of 12 months, your baby should have graduated from a bottle to a cup.
  • Limit night feedings and excessive, on-demand feedings once the first tooth comes. 
  • Make your baby snack on healthy and raw fruits and veggies, cheese, and yogurt as your toddler grows older. Watch their diet for starchy, soft meals that can cause tooth decay. Maintain a balanced diet. Avoid gummies or cookies that stick stubbornly to the teeth. 
  • Avoid giving sugary drinks, juice, or water to a child under the age of one. After turning one, your child can drink water anytime during the day if they’re thirsty.
  • After the age of three, the use of a pacifier or thumb sucking will impact the permanent teeth when they appear.
  • Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents decay. That is why you need to introduce fluoride supplements to your child after their first tooth sprouts, though after consulting with a dentist for professional medical advice.

How To Take Care Of Baby Mouth When They Have Thrush

Oral thrush is a fungal illness that starts in the mouth and spreads to the rest of the body which is triggered by oral candidiasis and causes white patches on the tongue, gums, inside the cheeks, and the roof of the mouth. Other than that, Diaper rash on babies, itchy and stinging nipples for mom, and even genital yeast are all possible signs.

Milk residue and thrush have a similar appearance. The only distinction between the two is that infants can wipe milk residue away. You can’t get rid of thrush.

To stop thrush from spreading, you must treat it with an antifungal drug or advice diagnosis or treatment solely by the doctor. So, if the white coating on your baby’s skin doesn’t come off, make an appointment with a pediatric dentist ASAP.

Final Word

Oral health needs attention at a young age. According to dentists, you must take teeth and gum hygiene care even before the first baby tooth appears because your child’s teeth are hidden inside their jaws all along. 

Since toddlers cannot brush their teeth, they will require your services to help them until they learn the proper practices of maintaining dental hygiene. Most children learn to brush their teeth by the age of 6 to 9, but it is wise to begin teaching them how to wash their teeth and tongue properly on their own from a young age.

Parents Also Ask

What is tooth decay?

If teeth are not correctly cared for, they can develop tooth decay. Bacteria create acids when your child consumes sugary foods or takes sugary medicines. These acids eat the enamel of the teeth, causing cavities to form. 
Cavities develop in baby teeth more quickly than in adult teeth. As a result, the permanent teeth that haven’t come in yet are at risk, as diseases can spread throughout the body.

What is the milk tongue?

When your baby’s tongue makes contact with the hard palate while nursing or feeding, residual milk is washed off, the tongue of some babies cannot reach the hard palate; thus, there is no friction to sweep away excessive dairy.
Therefore, the build-up of milk on the tongue, often known as “milk tongue,” becomes the reason for the white tongue. Milk tongue or white tongue is caused by either tongue ties or a high hard palate.
Make sure to follow through with the steps mentioned in the article above to clean your baby’s tongue. If your babies face milk tongue, advice diagnosis or treatment immediately.

Is glycerin safe for an infant?

A colorless, sweet-tasting liquid is responsible for the creamy texture of toothpaste called Glycerine.
Glycerin is usually harmless and deemed safe. However, toothpaste and Glycerin are not necessary for cleaning a newborn’s mouth or a tiny infant under the age of six months. Plus, using toothpaste for cleaning baby mouth can risk them swallowing excessive fluoride.

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