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Dentist gets his teeth into tongue brush

You’ve probably heard of a tongue-lashing – but what about a tongue brushing?

It’s the latest thing in good oral hygiene says paediatric dentist Doug Clemens, who flew in from Baltimore to share his knowledge with CdLS parents.

Building on his Essex conference presentation earlier this year (see April Reaching Out), Doug offered parents a range of tips to minimise dental decay and other mouth conditions.


He also shared his new finding that CdLS people get more decay to the back of their upper teeth than others, probably because they tend to lodge food at the top of their mouths.

“The tongue brush is ideal for removing acid from the back of the tongue that also contributes to cavities in upper teeth,” said Doug. “This is particularly important for people with CdLS who often have a big build up of acid as a result of reflux.”

In extreme cases, people can get hairy tongues if they don’t keep them clean enough.

Doug believes that tongue brushes are commercially available in the UK, but if you can’t find them, contact the Foundation office.


Other advice included:

  • If your child has a sweet tooth, give them chocolate rather than other sticky goodies. And make sure that you only give chocolate in moderation.
  • Don’t give your child juice drinks that contain fructose or corn syrup. Milk, water, 100 per cent orange juice or sparkling water are much better options.
  • Give your children meals/snacks at regular times: don’t let them eat randomly throughout the day.
  • Brush teeth at least twice a day – after breakfast and before bed.
Reaching Out newsletter
October 2002