Dr Anna Lee Blog Post

Why should you clean your tongue?

Dec 3 • 2 minute read

Why should you clean your tongue?  

A good oral care regimen consists of brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Brushing your tongue is also very important as part of your daily dental care regimen. The American Dental Association (ADA)suggests the use of tongue cleaners to scrape away excess plaque and odor-causing bacteria on the tongue after brushing your teeth.

Why should you clean your tongue?

The tongue has a rough surface that is full of peaks and troughs that are the perfect place to harbor plaque and odor-causing bacteria. Bacteria on the tongue can easily transfer to the teeth and cause damage as well as creating bad breath. Excess plaque and odor-causing bacteria on the tongue is one of the leading causes of bad breath. 
How to clean your tongue?
  • Use of a toothbrush brushing the tongue is about removing the bacteria at both the front and the back of the tongue
  • Put a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush bristle, start at the back of the tongue and work forward toward the tip of the tongue
  • Brush the entire top surface of the tongue 
  • Use gentle pressure. Stop if it irritates the tongue
  • Rinse your mouth with water and mouth wash
  • Clean the toothbrush after cleaning the tongue
*some toothbrushes have a built-in tongue cleaner on the back of the brush head.
  1. Tongue scraper-it is made of soft, flexible plastic and it gently peels the thin mucus based layer of debris from the tongue
  • Rinse the tongue scraper under clean water (moist)
  • Stick your tongue out
  • Begin gently scraping your tongue from the back of the tongue towards the tip of the tongue with gentle pressure
  • Rinse the tongue scraper after each use to remove the bacteria
  • Rinse your mouth with water and mouth wash
How often to clean your tongue?
  • Each time you brush and floss your teeth 
  • At a minimum, clean your tongue in the morning and the evening before bedtime
  • Clean your tongue if you have dry mouth or notice a foul taste in the mouth
Benefits of cleaning your tongue
  • A clean tongue can also improve your sense of taste. Bacteria and food debris can coat the tongue after eating, which can clog the taste buds and leave a metallic taste in your mouth. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that cleaning away the bacteria on the tongue improves the taste sensation. 
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper reduces the foul-smelling volatile sulfur compounds on the tongue that cause bad breath.
Dr. Anna Lee is a general & cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA. She is experienced in all phases of dentistry. She treats patients of all ages. If you have bad breath, don’t’ wait and call our office for a dental and oral evaluation. With proper dental care, you can enjoy fresh breath and good oral health.  Call our office at 626-335-5114 or visit us at www.annaleedds.com
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