You know you have to brush your teeth twice a day, but what about your tongue?
Why Should You Brush Your Tongue?
The reason you need to brush your teeth twice a day is to remove the food particles and bacteria that build up. The same goes for your tongue. It’s exposed to everything that your teeth are, but it rarely gets the same amount of attention. When you don’t brush your tongue, the bacteria and food particles become trapped under a thin layer of mucus. Because the tongue is not smooth, the bacteria can also hide in its crevices. This bacteria can lead to bad breath and even tooth decay, and therefore needs to be removed.
How Do You Get Rid of the Bacteria on Your Tongue?
Once you’ve brushed your teeth for the dentist-recommended two minutes, it’s time to tackle your tongue. You can use the same toothbrush that you use for brushing your teeth. Just dab a small bit of toothpaste on your toothbrush and carefully brush the surface of the tongue. Begin by brushing at the back of the tongue, working your way towards the front of the mouth. Brush back and forth and side to side using gentle pressure. Don’t forget to rinse once you’re done! Be careful not to apply too much pressure, either; you don’t want to skin to break.
Beyond brushing, you can also use a tongue scraper, a tool made of soft, flexible plastic that you can find at your local drugstore. By using the tongue scraper slowly and with light pressure, it gently peels away the thin layer of debris. You should focus on the center of the tongue, which is where most of the odor-causing bacteria lies.
It’s important to note that rinsing your mouth with mouthwash is not enough to get rid of this bacteria. Whether you’re using a brush or tongue scraper, some direct friction is necessary to remove the offensive debris. And remember that every time you brush your teeth, you should also be brushing your tongue.
Good oral hygiene requires a thorough cleaning of your mouth at least twice a day, as well as getting regularly scheduled cleanings. Call us today to make an appointment!