Dental care for kids who are tube-fed

Children with feeding tubes may need some extra attention regarding oral/dental care, because children who don’t eat orally at all or as often typically don’t produce as much teeth-cleaning saliva as other children do.

So, what can caregivers do to help? Tube-fed infants and toddlers should have their teeth brushed using fingertip toothbrushes or after wiping the mouth with a wet cloth. Both can help with oral aversions.

For children who aspirate or cannot spit, consider brushing with a small amount of mouthwash. There also are special toothbrushes that suck toothpaste foam and liquids from the mouth while brushing.

Remember: tube feeding itself doesn’t impact dental or oral health, but medical conditions that are associated with tube feeding sometimes can. It’s best to be informed.

For more information, visit Feeding Tube Awareness at

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.