One of the most common problem points in a child’s oral health is their tongue. It can be difficult enough to properly teach a child to brush and floss their teeth, so brushing the tongue can easily be glossed over.

However, teaching kids to properly clean their tongues during their oral care routine can have significant benefits for their overall dental health.

Why You Need to Clean Your Child’s Tongue

It’s not very commonly known that the same plaque that builds up on teeth can build up on a child’s tongue too.

The tongue itself is also a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to a host of oral health concerns, including pesky bad breath that persists after repeated brushings.

Help Prevent Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by bacteria which produce volatile compounds that create a harsh odor. Cleaning the tongue is more effective at getting rid of these bacteria, thus removing the cause of the bad breath rather than just the symptom.

Reduce Oral Health Risks

A tongue that isn’t properly cleaned can contribute to oral health problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease. If your child is struggling with poor oral health despite having a seemingly consistent oral hygiene routine, a poorly-cleaned tongue could be the culprit.

Teaching your child to properly care for and clean their entire mouth will mean a healthier, happier smile and fresher breath too.

Read Also: The 5 Most Common Causes of Cavities in Children

Techniques and Tools for Cleaning Your Child’s Tongue

Simple With a Toothbrush

The simplest and easiest way to incorporate tongue-cleaning into a child’s oral hygiene routine is to simply brush it the same way you brush teeth, gently, in different directions. Make sure they are careful to reach all parts of the tongue that they can without discomfort or gagging.

Read Also: What Toothbrush Do Dentists Really Recommend for Your Kids?

Specialized With a Tongue Scraper

An even more specialized option for tongue cleaning is a tongue scraper. A tongue scraper is even better at removing debris and plaque from the tongue than a brush and can elevate the “cool factor” of tongue-cleaning for some children.

It can also help reinforce the importance of cleaning the tongue to a child because there is a different tool being used to do so.

And as with any other oral hygiene routine, it’s important to lead by example. If your child sees their parents cleaning their tongue, they’re more likely to follow suit!

A Dentist’s Role in Keeping Your Child’s Tongue Clean

While cleaning your child’s tongue at home is important, any oral hygiene routine is incomplete if it doesn’t include bi-annual cleanings by a dental hygienist at a dentist’s office.

When performing a cleaning, hygienists tackle hard to remove plaque and tartar, cleaning the teeth (and tongue) with professional tools and techniques.

Ensure your child’s bi-annual checkups are scheduled so that your dentist and dental hygienist can provide the proper personalized care and cleaning for your child.

Keeping Your Child’s Tongue Clean is Worth It

In conclusion, it’s very important to teach your kid to clean their tongues when they brush their teeth. Scraping the tongue gets rid of bacteria, helps prevent bad breath, and reduces the risk of dental problems.

Cleaning your child’s tongue is a simple step to level up their overall oral health, and it can be as simple as a few extra seconds with a toothbrush.

Including it in your child’s daily oral hygiene routine will lead to a healthier mouth and a lifetime of happy smiles.

And when it’s time for your child’s bi-annual cleaning, consider Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry.

As one of the leading pediatric dentists in Lafayette, we pride ourselves on providing personalized, high-quality care to each and every patient. From cleanings to more intensive care, Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry has your child’s back.

Schedule your child’s appointment today, or call us with any questions you may have!