How To Clean White Tongue In Infants?

Your newborn infant may not have teeth as yet. Nevertheless, his oral hygiene is still important. Along with ensuring optimal nutrition, it’s also very important to maintain a healthy oral hygiene in him. Before we look at how to clean white tongue in infants, let us first address why there is a need to clean a baby’s tongue.

In this article:

  1. Why do you need to clean your baby’s tongue?
  2. How to clean white tongue in infants?
  3. Things to keep in mind while cleaning white tongue in infants
  4. 3 tips to clean your baby’s tongue

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Baby’s Tongue?

Regular and proper cleaning of the tongue in infants not only helps prevent bad breath and bacterial accumulations, it also lowers the risk of oral infections and gum diseases.

Ideally, you should clean your baby’s mouth even before the first tooth emerges, as cleaning the gums right from the initial stages aids the process of teething and ensures proper dental hygiene.

How to Clean White Tongue in Infants?

  1. The first critical step when it comes to how to clean white tongue in infants, is to have clean hands. So make sure that your hands are washed thoroughly before you carry out the procedure.
  2. Then clean your baby’s tongue using an oral cleaning gauze or even using a soft cloth wrapped around your index finger, which is one of the best home remedies to clean baby tongue. Baby tongue cleaners are also available both online and offline.
  3. If you’re using a gauze, moisten it with a little warm water and wrap it around your index finger. Then rest your baby in one arm to make him comfortable and use the other to clean his mouth.
  4. Open your baby’s mouth gently and place your finger inside to clean the white tongue. You won’t find any challenge here as infants usually never fuss when a finger is placed in their mouth.
  5. Once you have placed your finger, make sure you place it in the center of his tongue and gently scrape it in a circular motion at least twice or thrice.
  6. Right after cleaning the tongue, finish the procedure by massaging his teeth (if he has) and/or gums gently.
  7. You can also use gum cleaners to remove the build-ups (if any). However if the cleaners fail to remove the build-ups (which is rare in infants), then consult your doctor for further course of action.

It is important that you perform this baby tongue cleaning procedure at least once a day, ideally after feeding. Doctors generally recommend using soft brushes that are specially designed to clean a babies’ tongue and cavities.

Things to Keep in Mind While Cleaning White Tongue in Infants

  1. As soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts, you must ideally take him to your doctor/dentist.
  2. Get a dental examination done for your baby and review his fluoride status as per doctor’s advice.
  3. If you have any concerns related to your child’s dental health, never hesitate or delay speaking to your dentist about it.
  4. Make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions on how to keep the infant’s mouth clean.

4 Tips to Clean Your Baby’s Tongue

  1. Using warm water is the best and ideal way to clean your baby’s tongue.
  2. Dip the soft gauze or (clean and soft) cotton cloth into warm water, take it out and hold it (out) for 3 to 5 seconds, and then place the finger in his mouth and clean the tongue.
  3. Gently clean the gums and the inside of his cheeks too, thoroughly, while cleaning the tongue.
  4. Engage your little one with you by talking and smiling at him while cleaning his tongue. This way, you make the tongue cleaning routine into a simple and quick activity for him.

Your baby might sometimes cry while you clean his tongue, which could make your job a little harder. But it is important to still clean his tongue and therefore keep his mouth healthy and fresh.


It’s never too early to start paying attention to your little one’s oral hygiene. Now that you have learned how to clean white tongue in infants, make sure you clean your baby’s mouth at least once every day and help him maintain a healthy oral hygiene.

Disclaimer: The content in this page and across this website are for informational and educational purposes only. In case of any concerns about your child’s growth and development, please contact your professional child healthcare provider.