Little Teeth Truth: Does my child need to brush her tongue?
Yes. It is common knowledge for most parents and kids to brush their teeth for two minutes, two times each day, but many parents and caregivers might not know the importance of brushing their little one’s tongue. The majority of the bacteria in your mouth are on your tongue and while a tongue won’t get cavities like teeth, it holds bacteria like a sponge, which will eventually spread to teeth.[i] While water and mouth wash can help dislodge particles and make their mouth feel minty fresh, they won’t do the trick. Pesky bacteria can stick together and lodge in the crevices and grooves of the tongue, so it has to be brushed off.
These bacteria can also cause odors as well, particularly when the mouth is dry, such as after sleeping or when breathing through the mouth. Brushing the tongue, including the back, can help reduce these odor-causing bacteria to prevent bad breath. Be sure to supervise brushing until little ones are 7 or 8 years of age to take sure your child is doing a thorough job!
Dr. Mario Ramos, D.M.D. AAPD Parliamentarian.
Dr. Mario Ramos, D.M.D., is a board certified pediatric dentist and a national spokesperson for the AAPD and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives. Dr. Ramos is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and is a private practitioner in Midland Park, N.J.
Dr. Ramos has lectured on a variety of pediatric dental topics both nationally and internationally. Additionally, he is the founder and Director of the “Smiles With Pride” project which provides dental care to homeless children. He is also a volunteer pediatric dentist at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, NJ, and at Eva’s Village Dental Center in Paterson, NJ.