You have probably heard that ‘brushing alone is not enough’ to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. You may also know that flossing as well as brushing is what this comment refers to. Everyone knows how important cleaning your teeth and gums is, however, many are unaware of the importance of cleaning your tongue as well! Knowing how to clean your tongue is an important part of good oral hygiene.
Your tongue is a reservoir for plaque and bacteria. This is because it is covered in papillae. Papillae are tiny raised protrusions on the surface of the tongue that contain taste buds. The build-up of plaque and bacteria without daily cleaning can cause residues of plaque to cover the tongue, affecting taste, oral health, and hygiene of the mouth.
There are 3 simple steps to effectively clean your tongue
These come in metal and plastic, and are very inexpensive. A good quality metal tongue scraper can last for years. You start at the back of the tongue and gently scrape the tongue in a forward direction removing all the built up plaque. Repeat this 3-5 times.
Where tongue scrapers are not available, your toothbrush will work just fine! You clean your teeth and gums with your toothbrush so it makes sense to clean your tongue too, right?! Gently brush your tongue until all the white residues are removed.
Mouthwash is a great adjunct to tongue scrapers or toothbrushes to clean your tongue, however it’s important to remember that it’s not at all effective on its own.
Now that you know how to clean your tongue, why exactly should you be doing it?
Here are 5 reasons why your mouth will thank you for cleaning your tongue!
Bad Breath Prevention
The build-up of plaque and bacteria over time releases foul odors contributing to bad breath, otherwise known as Halitosis.
So, cleaning your tongue is not only great for you, but also for those around you!
Helps Prevent Cavities
Removing bacteria from the tongue on top of brushing and flossing helps remove bacteria which release acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Less bacteria and plaque in your mouth, equals less cavities so this is a win-win.
When you eat foods, the tongue is your first point of contact. Your food becomes amalgamated with bacteria which you swallow affecting your overall health and immune system. There is strong evidence to suggest a link between Periodontitis (gum disease) and heart disease, so clean your tongue to better health!
Without all the extra plaque and bacteria covering your tastebuds, your food will taste better! Who doesn’t want that?
Cleaning all the gross plaque and bacteria off your tongue will leave your mouth feeling fresh and crisp!
At Dentistry On Coolum, we are advocates for holistic health care because we truly care about your overall health, and it all starts with great Oral Health.
Book an appointment online, or call us now to speak to one of our friendly dentists on 07-54461616 to discuss how to keep your mouth happy and healthy.