Why should you clean your tongue?
Your tongue, unlike your teeth, has a rough surface that’s full of many peaks and troughs that are the perfect place for bacteria to settle and thrive. In fact, your tongue has much more bacteria than your teeth do. This bacteria is easily able to transfer itself to your teeth and cause damage as well as creating bad breath. In fact, as long as you don’t have any other dental issues such as gingivitis or tooth decay, bacteria on your tongue is one of the leading causes of bad breath.
We all know you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least one time a day, but do you know you should be cleaning your tongue too?
How to clean your tongue
Once you’ve thoroughly brushed your teeth you should then turn your attention to tongue cleaning.
Brushing your tongue is all about removing the bacteria (Volatile Sulfur Compounds) at both the front and the back. The front is relatively self-cleaning but the back is vital. Begin by putting a small amount of toothpaste on the brush, start at the back and move forward remembering to scrub both side to side and up and down. Use a reasonable amount of pressure but stop if it becomes painful.
You can buy tongue scrapers (Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner), but for most people, the bristles of a toothbrush will be fine.
How often should you be brushing your tongue?
You should make tongue cleaning part of your usual oral care routine and do it at least twice daily, usually in the morning and before bed. If it gets to midday and your mouth is dry or you have a foul taste, try brushing your tongue again.
Photo credit: http://www.cheerfuldentist.com/uncategorized/tongue-cleaning-a-great-way-to-achieve-better-breath/, Dr. Eugene Field