Why You Should Clean Your Tongue and How to Properly Do It

When it comes to maintaining excellent oral health, you know about the importance of brushing and flossing on a regular basis. Are they enough, though? Your local dentist says there is more that you can be doing. Read on to find out why it’s just as important to thoroughly clean your tongue as it is to brush and floss your teeth. Additionally, you’ll learn how to properly go about it so you can get the best results!

Tongue Cleaning and Its Significance to Your Oral Health

Centrally located, the tongue manages to come in contact with every part of your mouth through simple activities like speaking, eating, drinking or random movements. Thus, if it is covered in debris or bacteria, it can easily transfer the lingering particles to other areas.

The problem spot is the surface of the tongue, where the papillae are found. These are tiny bumps where food and beverage leftovers and bacteria can become trapped. Regularly cleaning your tongue is proven to lower the risk of cavities and gum disease. As an added bonus, it can leave you with fresher breath.

Effective Solutions

One way to enjoy healthier teeth and gums is to pay more attention to your tongue. So after you brush and floss, take a moment to clean your tongue to ensure any excess bacteria and leftover particles are removed.

Here are some easy-to-follow steps:

  • After cleaning your teeth, use your toothbrush to gently and repeatedly sweep from the back of the tongue to the front.
  • Use a tongue scraper, which is a tool designed to glide over the tongue to remove the layer of mucus and bacteria that can become trapped.
  • After scraping your tongue, rinse with mouthwash to help remove any lingering particles.

How Often Should You Clean Your Tongue?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush and floss at least two times a day. However, for the best results, you should clean your teeth after every meal. The same goes for your tongue. Every time you perform oral hygiene, it’s especially important to clean it. Why? Because if your tongue isn’t clean, it defeats your other oral hygiene efforts, as it’s constantly in contact with the other parts of your mouth.

A Brighter Future for Your Oral Health

Now that the COVID-19 curve is beginning to flatten around the country, dentists will soon be reopening for care. That means you’ll be able to schedule a visit for a routine check-up and cleaning. Until then, by adding proper and consistent tongue cleaning to your oral hygiene regimen, you can maintain your dental health and prevent the development of cavities and other issues.


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