At least once in everyone’s life, your dentist or parents have likely told you to brush your teeth twice a day. Flossing is also emphasized for healthy teeth. However, sometimes after brushing your teeth and flossing, your breath will still smell bad. The reason for this, is that you may be neglecting to clean your tongue.
Your mouth will never truly be clean unless you brush your tongue too. Plus, no matter how much you brush your teeth, if you don’t clean your tongue then there will always be a higher risk of your teeth developing plaque, decaying, yellowing and developing cavities.
WHY SHOULD WE CLEAN THE TONGUE?
Our tongue is one of the body parts that has the most bacteria. To us, our tongue seems to be a flat and flexible muscular organ. However, the tongue has all sorts of elevations, crevices and taste buds which help hide the bacteria. These elevations are homes for the bacteria. The surface of your tongue has bumps known as papillae within which bacteria may hide as well.
This bacteria accumulation can cause cavities in your teeth as well as bad breath. Cleaning your tongue also helps get rid of the biofilm which forms over your tongue because of the bacteria.
The biofilm prevents your tongue from fully tasting and enjoying the taste of your meals. Literally, dulling your taste buds. Removing this biofilm can help your taste buds taste food more effectively. This helps aid in the digestive process.
HOW TO CLEAN THE TONGUE EFFECTIVELY
Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing will not fully clean your tongue either. The bacteria in our mouth is very stubborn. Rinsing with a mouthwash will only destroy the outer cells of the biofilm, not those cells which thrive underneath it.
To remove this bacteria effectively, get a tongue scraper. You can get a tongue scraper as most stores with a dental section. If you, however, do not have a tongue scraper or cannot find one, you can still get rid of the bacteria by brushing your tongue with a toothbrush. Some toothbrushes have bumps on them at the back which helps scrape your tongue. However, don’t brush your tongue too roughly. The skin on your tongue may start tearing.
Always start scraping your tongue as far back as possible. The farther you scrape, the more biofilm you’ll be able to get rid of. Make sure to cover every surface and crevice of your tongue with the tongue scraper or toothbrush.
Good dental care doesn’t just mean brushing your teeth. It is time to start taking care of your tongue as well. Don’t neglect it. It is a very important part of our body. To learn more about proper dental care make an appointment with Implant and General Dentistry of Middle Tennessee today!