Teaching children to brush their teeth and take care of them is an important part of overall dental health. Without regular brushing, bacteria grow in the mouth, contributing to plaque development, tooth decay and bad breath. Part of the general cleaning of the mouth should include brushing the tongue. When you are teaching your child what good oral hygiene involves, brushing your tongue in your instructions.
- A thorough brushing should include the tongue.
- Explain to your child the steps needed to properly brush your teeth. A thorough brushing should include brushing all surfaces of the teeth, the tongue and then ending with flossing, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
- Have your child stand in front of the mirror so he can see himself and then ask him to stick his tongue out as far as he can. While you have your tongue out for a few seconds, tell her to make sure she keeps her clean and keeps her teeth clean. Tell her that if she does not clean and brush her teeth, she can leave the germs on her tongue. Explain that these germs give you bad breath and may even interfere with the way the tongue tastes food.
- Teach your child how to brush his tongue to add to his brushing routine. Ask the child to pull out his tongue again and look at it in the mirror. Point out the tip, the center and then the back. Tell him it’s important that he try to brush his tongue. It highlights the fact that the back end of the tongue could be the place where many germs are hidden, so it is important that the brush reaches as far back as possible. You may be warned that it might make you nauseous when brushing your tongue, and that if this happens, you should not brush so thoroughly.
- Show your child how to brush their tongue so they feel and see the correct brushing. Brush your tongue carefully to reach all parts effectively. You can compare the brushing of the tongue with “paint”, indicates the Dental Health Week Web site.
- Encourage your child to remember to brush their tongue every time they brush their teeth, reports the Pediatric Dental Health website.
- Oversee the regular brushing of your child’s teeth to make sure he adds to his routine brushing his tongue. In a short time, this should become a learned habit and part of your oral care routine. Provide reminders if you forget.