Nothing can be more horrific for a mother than seeing that something is wrong with her baby. Infants are very delicate, and it can always put any mom on the edge. One of the best examples of these worries is noticing some black spots on your baby’s tongue.
These black spots are definitely not milk residue. Since these can be very unsightly, and even a bit alarming, what should you do about these black spots, then?
Your baby’s tongue is an indicator of health that will alert you if there are any health issues. Knowing the cause of these black spots in the first place will help you determine how to deal with them properly.
What are Black Spots on Baby’s Tongue?
When babies are absolutely healthy, their pink tongues will have a neutral color. However, there are instances when you will notice a few spots on their tongue of different colors. There are several reasons why black or brown spots may appear on the tongue of your baby, and these include the following:
- Black spots may appear after taking iron supplements and vitamins.
- These black spots are more likely spots of the pigmentation of a baby that is often inherited from parents with darker skin.
- The black spots are tiny blood clots due to irritation.
- Spots in black color are stains from bacterial growth.
How Do Bacteria Grow and Form Black Spots on Baby’s Tongue?
There are many small projections called papillae present on the surface of the tongue containing taste buds. Some of these papillae are much longer compared to others and these can also hold almost anything, including food substances, yeast, dead skin cells, and bacteria. There can be an excessive overgrowth of the papillae and it may appear hairy and in various colors such as white, yellow, green, tan, brown, and black.
What is the Difference between Black Tongue and Oral Thrush?
All humans are host to fungi and bacteria that live with them since birth. Your immune system is the warrior of your body that hinders their growth, yet these still exist within you. Simply put, everyone is a carrier of inactive yeast from the day they are born.
However, babies don’t have an adult’s fully functioning body just yet. This is why babies are often the haven of illnesses and infections as they grow. But these infections can do so much in making their immune responses stronger later in life.
Among the most common intruders are yeasts such as Candida. These are the culprits in the spread of different nasty infections like oral thrush, diaper rash, as well as black hairy tongue. However, a black tongue, unlike the first two, doesn’t cause pain or discomfort. The only thing that you might find bothersome is the fact that it is hideous to linger in the mouth of your baby.
Black spots are specifically found on the tongue, while oral thrush causes white patches that can spread to the roof and the side of the mouth of your little one.
Tips to Prevent and Treat Black Spots on Baby’s Tongue
Black spots on the tongue of your baby won’t need any treatment. Proper and good oral hygiene is a simple form of cure that can help ward off other gum and mouth diseases in children. This should begin right after you give birth to your baby and not just when your little one starts growing some teeth.
The black spots will soon fade off if your child is under medication.
Cleaning the tongue of your baby every day can help prevent the growth of yeast. Scraping it carefully and gently using a soft gauze or cloth can also help reduce the appearance of tongue discolorations. Below are the steps you can follow to clean the mouth of your baby properly:
Wash Your Hands First
This first step is obviously a no-brainer. Washing your hands is the most important step you shouldn’t miss or forget at all. This is a precautionary measure that you, your whole family, and your visitors must always follow around your little one. Considering all the health issues these days, the last thing you want is to be too lenient.
Proceed to Clean Your Baby’s Tongue
Infants don’t produce as much saliva for removing all residues of milk in their mouths. Their milk diet doesn’t cause any abrasion to scrape off these residues either. Microorganisms can thrive in the groove of the tongue of your baby if you don’t remove these milk residues. Make it a daily habit to clean the tongue of your baby until he becomes old enough to use a toothbrush.
Here is how you should do it:
- Wash your hands.
- Wrap your finger with soft gauze or cloth.
- Dip the wrapped finger in clean lukewarm water that doesn’t contain cleaning agents or anything else.
- Rub the cloth gently in a circular motion on the tongue of your baby.
- Make sure you also clean the gums, roof of the mouth, and inside cheeks.
Clean All the Stuff of Your Baby
Sterilizing all the stuff of your baby such as feeding bottles, breast pumps, dummy nipples, and teething rings can help ward off fungi and bacteria growth. You can try boiling the feeding equipment of your baby for a minimum of 10 minutes but see to it that the items can be boiled safely.
Cold and steam sterilizing are good options as well. Avoid using a kitchen microwave for the stuff of your baby. Doing this doesn’t clean the stuff thoroughly and at the same time, it can also pose the risk of damaging the teats and bottles. If you want, you can also buy a microwave sterilizer specifically designed for cleaning the feeding equipment of your little one.
Clean Your Nipple First Before You Feed Your Baby
Even if your baby cries out of hunger, don’t forget to clean your nipple first before feeding. Clean and dry your nipple to get rid of any dangerous microorganisms and contaminants that might have attached to it before each feeding session.
Don’t panic if you see black spots on your baby’s tongue. These can often resolve on their own with no need for any therapy or medication.