You’ve been warned about the dangers of tooth decay since you started going to your dentist for regular visits. But if you’re only brushing and flossing, there’s still more you could be doing to protect your teeth. Your tongue plays a huge role in the functions of your mouth, and it needs to be taken care of if you want truly great oral health. In this article, you’ll learn about why your tongue needs to be cleaned and the proper ways to do it.
Why Do I Need To Clean My Tongue?
Many of the diseases that can harm your mouth are caused by the accumulation of harmful bacteria inside it. If they’re not removed, they can begin processes that damage your teeth and gums. While it doesn’t look like it, your tongue is actually covered in tiny grooves that are ideal for bacteria to collect in. When they sit in those grooves for long period of time, they cause bad breath and can move to areas of your mouth that you’ve already cleaned. Eventually, this can result in the development of gum disease. Cleaning your tongue prevents the buildup of bacteria on its surface and makes your regular brushing habits more effective.
How Do I Clean My Tongue?
All you need is a toothbrush to clean your tongue. Just follow these simple steps:
- Place your brush on your tongue’s surface near the back of your mouth
- Gently pull your brush toward the tip of your tongue
- Rinse your brush off and repeat this motion until your tongue is free of any buildup
There are also specialized devices known as tongue scrapers that can be used to clean your tongue. These inexpensive tools have a hook shaped end that is specially designed to collect and remove debris and bacteria. They don’t require any special instructions to use. All you need to do is follow the same motions for cleaning your tongue with a toothbrush.
What Can I Do To Keep My Tongue Clean?
Making smart choices during the day can help prevent the buildup of bacteria on your tongue. Some things you can do include:
- Drinking a glass of water between meals
- Avoiding sweet or sugary snacks like candies and sodas
- Rinsing with mouthwash at least once per day
Practicing good oral hygiene requires you to fight bacteria wherever they can hide in your mouth. By cleaning your tongue, you’re giving them one less place to grow in and cause damage.
About The Dentist
Dr. Megan Shelton believes that good dental care goes beyond just in office treatments. She takes continuing education courses annually so she can provide you with the most up-to-date information on home care practices. If you’d like to know more about what you can do to keep your mouth healthy, you can reach out to her through her practice’s website or at 760-434-9800.