Tongue cleaning: Why you should be doing it
Everyone knows that they need to brush their teeth, but it’s easy to neglect other parts of oral hygiene. Keeping your mouth clean requires more than just brushing your teeth twice a day. Bacteria and food can also build up in other parts of your mouth, including on your tongue. By cleaning your tongue, you can improve your oral health and prevent problems such as bad breath, gum disease and cavities. A cleaner tongue can even help to enhance your sense of taste, making food and drink more enjoyable. If you want a better oral hygiene routine, you should learn how and why to clean your tongue.
Why Should You Clean Your Tongue?
Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that you need to look after. Your gums, tongue and even cheeks and lips are also essential to care for. If you don’t keep your tongue clean, food debris, dead cells and bacteria can build up. These can all lead to a range of dental and oral hygiene problems. You might find that you experience bad breath, or you could face issues such as gum disease, cavities or even tooth loss. Looking after the rest of your mouth helps to protect your teeth by improving your overall oral hygiene.
How Tongue Cleaning Helps
Cleaning your tongue helps to make your mouth cleaner by offering a number of benefits. When you clean your tongue, you remove the bacteria, debris and dead cells that can build up. Regular tongue cleaning prevents this buildup from returning and boosts your oral health to prevent gum disease, cavities and more. Tongue scraping keeps your tongue clean, which can also improve how your tongue feels and even give you a better sense of taste. Cleaning your tongue isn’t a replacement for brushing your teeth, but it is an excellent complement to tooth brushing.
When you clean your tongue, you usually use a tongue scraper to do so. Some toothbrushes are designed to have a rough surface on the back designed for cleaning your tongue. However, many dental experts recommend using a scraper instead, as it is usually more effective. If you want to have better breath, better taste and an overall healthier mouth, cleaning your tongue is one of the best ways to do it.
How to Clean Your Tongue
It’s not difficult to clean your tongue. What’s most important is making it a daily part of your oral health routine. To start cleaning your tongue, you need a tongue scraper, which is available in a variety of shapes and styles. Most tongue scrapers are made with materials such as plastic and silicone, but you can also choose between a plastic tongue cleaner or metal tongue cleaner. You might also see tongue brushes designed for cleaning the tongue.
To clean your tongue with a tongue scraper, stand in front of a mirror and stick out your tongue. Start at the back of your tongue and pull the scraper forward towards the top of your tongue. Cleaning your tongue can make you want to gag, but it’s often just because it’s an unfamiliar sensation. If you want to avoid gagging, it might help to start in the middle of your tongue and gradually begin placing the tongue cleaner further back as you get used to it. You should eventually be able to clean the back of your tongue if you’re careful. Just make sure that you always pull the scraper away from your mouth, and never push it in.
Gently pull the scraper forward and clean it after each scrape with a cloth or tissue. To cover the whole of your tongue, you will usually only need to do this once or twice. When you’re finished, wash your tongue scraper with warm water and soap, and dry it before putting it away. You can rinse your mouth out after cleaning your tongue to wash out any residue or debris.
Once you have mastered using a tongue cleaner, continuing to use it regularly is vital. Cleaning your tongue at least once a day will help you to maintain your oral health. Add it to your usual routine, along with brushing and flossing or using interdental brushes.
You might not have thought of cleaning your tongue before, but it can help you to improve your oral hygiene and health significantly. Cleaning your tongue every day will help you to prevent several oral health problems, from bad breath to cavities. It’s never too late to start taking better care of your oral hygiene.