Maybe we should consider rebranding “brushing your teeth” as “cleaning your mouth”, because there’s a whole lot more to be mindful of in there than just your teeth. While many people know about the importance of flossing and keeping their gums healthy, many of us entirely neglect another massive portion of our mouth when it comes to our oral hygiene regimen: our tongue! The tongue is a crucial component of your oral health and should be attended to during your daily brushings. Read on to understand both why cleaning your tongue is important and how to go about doing so!
Why Is Brushing Or Scraping My Tongue Important?
The surface is grooved and bumpy and full of taste buds. While this uneven surface makes for enjoyable eating, it is also a great surface for bacteria to live and thrive. Your saliva does a decent job of washing away a lot of harmful or odorous bacteria, but there are still plenty of places for it to hide out. Mouth drying activities such as smoking or drinking coffee or alcohol can reduce your natural saliva production, leading to more bacteria sticking around on your tongue and eventually causing odor and health problems. Brushing or scraping helps to dislodge food particles and bacteria, which prevents them from growing and spreading in your mouth. One of the most immediate benefits to cleaning your tongue is the improvement in breath you will experience from the removal of additional bacteria. Some studies have even suggested that cleaning your tongue can help improve your sense of taste as well as improve the overall appearance.
How Do I Go About It?
Integrating the cleaning of your tongue into your oral health regimen is easy and painless! It can be as simple as using your ordinary toothbrush to gently brush after you’ve finished brushing your teeth, going as far back in your mouth as is comfortable. If you would rather use a unique tool for the process, consider investing in a tongue scraper! These plastic or metal instruments are curved on one end and allow you to gently scrape the surface of the tongue to dislodge anything stuck there. They are also proven to be more effective in cleaning your tongue than a toothbrush alone. When using a scraper, start at the farthest point on the back of your tongue that is comfortable, and pull the scraper forward over the surface. After each movement, rinse the scraper before placing it back on the surface. Repeat until you have cleaned the whole surface of your tongue.
Oral hygiene is about so much more than having strong teeth. Keeping every component of your mouth clean and healthy is the best defense against disease and decay, not to mention things like bad breath.
If you have questions about your dental hygiene regimen, or you would like to know more about the importance of cleaning your tongue, give TruBlu Dentistry in Burbank, Chicago, or Hegewisch a call today to schedule your next dentist appointment!