If you are like most people, you clean your teeth with a simple toothbrush and toothpaste. Additionally, you probably floss your teeth once or twice each day. However, you might not clean your tongue. The average person has attempted to clean his or her tongue in the past only to suffer a gag reflex and never try it again. Let’s take a quick look at why you should clean your tongue at least once each day, preferably prior to sleep.
Why Cleaning Your Tongue is Essential to Oral Health and Beauty
Take a moment to think about all the food and beverages that touch your tongue on a daily basis. Some of those food particles stick to the tongue and remain there even after drinking water and rinsing with mouthwash. The solution is to clean your tongue with a toothbrush and toothpaste or a tongue scraper. In particular, individuals who consume soft food often have an abundance of small papillae that spread along the tongue. The longer papillae on the tongue are problematic as they trap food particles along with debris. Making matters worse is the fact that these lengthy papillae create a nasty odor that will make you hesitant to speak when in close proximity to others.
Eliminate That Pesky Bacteria
The tongue is basically a sponge covered in taste buds. Aside from food particles, bacteria will also become trapped within the surface of the tongue and gradually accumulate. If you allow bacteria and food particles to remain on your tongue, they will multiply and cause a wide range of problems ranging from halitosis to furry tongue, gum disease, tooth decay and plenty more. The sad truth is, bacteria on the tongue gradually spreads to other parts of the mouth.
Cleaning Your Tongue is Easier Than You Might Think
If you have tried to clean your tongue and gagged, don’t give up! Though eating roughage will clean your tongue to a certain extent, it will not eliminate all the food particles, bacteria, and other gunk that has accumulated. This is precisely why you should brush at least the front half of your tongue with toothpaste every single night prior to going to sleep. Carefully clean the back half of your tongue with your toothbrush as well. Be sure to rinse off the toothbrush with plenty of water after cleaning your tongue so all the tiny particles of food and bacteria are washed down the drain.
If you don’t like the idea of using your toothbrush to clean your bacteria-laden tongue, clean your tongue with a tongue scraper. A tongue scraper makes it that much easier to clean the entirety of your tongue without gagging. Keep in mind, the most potent bacteria on the tongue is toward its back half so it is in your best interest to clean the entirety of your tongue’s surface. Once you finish cleaning your tongue with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper, rinse your mouth with mouthwash for 15 to 20 seconds. Make sure all of the diminutive food particles, bacteria, and other potential threats to your oral health are completely eliminated.
Tongue Cleaning Caveats
Do not apply an abundance of pressure when cleaning your tongue. A light brushing with a moist toothbrush combined with toothpaste will suffice. Above all, be gentle when cleaning your tongue and refrain from moving the toothbrush or tongue scraper so far back that it pokes your throat. If you use a tongue scraper and scrape excessively hard, there is the potential to break the surface of the tongue. If you notice any blood when using a tongue scraper or toothbrush to clean your tongue, stop and reach out to our office in Vero Beach for assistance. All of your questions and concerns when it comes to tongue cleaning or oral health will be answered.
Contact Vero Implants & Periodontics Today
If you need periodontal services such as tooth extraction, bone grafting, tissue grafting, dental implants or periodontal maintenance, reach out to us today. Our dentist in Vero Beach, FL will do everything possible to improve your oral health and beauty. Contact us today by filling out our online contact form or by reaching out to us at 772.569.9700.