Why You Should Be Cleaning Your Tongue
You brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and use mouthwash but don’t forget about your tongue. Studies suggest that cleaning your tongue regularly can reduce unwanted mouth bacteria that can lead to bad breath, a coated tongue, plaque buildup, and other oral health conditions.
Why do you need to clean your tongue?
Your tongue is covered in tiny bumps called papillae. Food particles can get trapped within these bumps and attract bacteria, which can build up on your tongue just as easily as it can on your teeth and gums. When this occurs, it can result in serious bad breath, even if you brush and floss diligently. Bacteria accumulation may also result in a (usually white) discoloration of the tongue. Because of this, it’s necessary to physically remove the bacteria by brushing or cleaning.
How to clean your tongue with a toothbrush
You should brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. It’s pretty simple:
- brush back and forth
- brush side to side
- rinse your mouth with water
How to clean your tongue using a tongue scraper:
Some research says tongue scrapers are the most effective tool to use. However, you can also use toothbrushes and mouthwashes to clean your tongue.
- Select a tongue scraping instrument. This may be plastic or metal. It may be bent in half making a V shape or have a handle with a rounded edge at the top. Shop online for tongue scrapers.
- Stick out your tongue as far as you can.
- Place your tongue scraper toward the back of your tongue then press the scraper on your tongue and move it toward the front of your tongue while applying pressure.
- Run the tongue scraper under warm water to clear any debris and bacteria from the device. Spit out any excess saliva that may have built up during the tongue scraping.
- Repeat several more times. As needed, adjust your tongue scraper placement and the pressure you apply to it to prevent a gag reflex.
You can scrape your tongue once or twice a day.
Tongue brushing is an easy addition to your daily dental routine. Experts recommend making it a regular habit. Whether you use a tongue scraper, toothbrush, or oral mouth rinse, tongue cleaning is a good addition to your daily oral health practices. Cleaning your tongue once or twice a day may help you reduce bad breath and the risk of cavities as well as contribute to a clean-mouth feeling.
Although home methods like tongue scraping can help reduce tongue buildup, it isn’t a cure-all. See your dentist right away if you’re dealing with chronic dry mouth. They can assess your symptoms and determine whether you’d benefit from more frequent cleanings, special mouthwash, or other treatment options.