In addition to brushing, flossing and mouthwash, did you know that cleaning your tongue daily is also part of a healthy oral care routine?
Your tongue is a muscle that does lots of work when it comes to speaking and eating, and it requires routine cleaning, just like your teeth and gums.
The top of your tongue is a rough surface comprised of thousands of tiny taste buds called “papilla.” When observed under a microscope, these taste buds give your tongue the texture of hills and valleys, and bacteria can quickly accumulate in the crevices. Even if you do an excellent job at brushing and flossing, the bacteria from your tongue can travel to other parts of your mouth, possibly contributing to gum disease and cavities.
Here are the signs and symptoms of bacteria on your tongue:
- Persistent bad breath or halitosis
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Decreased or subdued taste
- A white or cream-coloured coating on the tongue
Cleaning your tongue using your toothbrush:
The first option for cleaning your tongue is to use your toothbrush. You can use the bristles of your toothbrush to scrape from the back of your tongue to the front. Do this several times, and rinse the toothbrush between each scrape. Some toothbrushes may also have a rough surface on the flip side of the bristles. If available, you can use this surface to scrape the tongue instead of the bristles.
Cleaning your tongue using a tongue cleaner:
Your second option for cleaning your tongue is to use a tongue cleaner. This dental tool is separate at most drug stores, explicitly designed to clean your tongue. Some tongue scrapers have bristles, while others are comprised of corrugated plastic. You use a tongue scraper, like your toothbrush, to clean your tongue. Drag the tool from the back of your tongue to the front several times, rinsing in between. You will be shocked at what you might be able to see come off your tongue!
If you have any questions about cleaning your tongue or how to do it, we encourage you to contact us to book an appointment today.