A HEALTHY TONGUE is incredibly important for a healthy mouth. We know we talk a lot about your teeth, but it’s time we told you more about your tongue, that amazing muscle that allows us to speak, taste, and swallow!
Get Rid of Bacteria by Cleaning Your Tongue
You’ve already brushed your teeth for two minutes and you’re ready to be done. Not so fast! Cleaning your tongue is just as important as cleaning your teeth. Did you know that almost 50 percent of the bacteria in your mouth is on your tongue? If you don’t worry about cleaning your tongue, that bacteria will transfer to your teeth even after you’ve brushed. Your oral health care routine should always include a good tongue cleaning!
Here’s another interesting fact: 90 percent of bad breath comes from a dirty tongue! Until you learn how to clean your tongue, you may not be able to get rid of that lingering halitosis.
Cleaning Your Tongue Is Easy
There are three tools to choose from when it comes to cleaning your tongue: a tongue scraper, a tongue brush, or your handy dandy toothbrush.
- Use a tongue scraper for a thorough cleaning. This tool is usually made of soft, flexible plastic, sometimes metal. It gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from your tongue. You should scrape from the back of your tongue to the front. Rinse the scraper after each swipe of the tongue.
- A tongue brush works just as well as a scraper. Some opt for a tongue brush that has bristles specifically designed to clean out the crevices of the tongue. Again, start cleaning at the back of your tongue and work your way forward. Rinse the brush well after use.
- Toothbrushes work best for teeth. While it’s better to use a toothbrush on your tongue than nothing at all, toothbrushes were designed to clean the hard enamel of your teeth, not the soft surface of your tongue. You may not get as thorough a clean using your toothbrush. However, the mechanism is the same; start at the back and work your way to the front.
Your Mouth Will Thank You
Your mouth will thank you for a clean, healthy tongue. Cleaning your tongue once or twice a day before or after brushing will greatly improve your oral health, not to mention your breath! It’s a win-win!
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Image by Flickr user Chase Elliot Clark used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.