Do You Brush Your Tongue?

Couple brushing their teeth together

Couple brushing their teeth togetherThe habit of brushing and flossing your teeth daily is not a surefire way to get rid of bad breath. While both practices can help, you still need to clean your tongue properly. A lot of bacteria can build up your tongue, especially within the grooves of the tiny bumps (called papillae).

The bacteria, along with the other particles trapped on your tongue, can lead to bad breath or discoloration.

Dentists in Fredericksburg from dental offices such as Southpoint Quality Dental share the two common ways of cleaning your tongue.

Brushing

This involves gently brushing your tongue using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to brush the entire surface, starting at the back of the tongue and then toward the front. Use a small dab of toothpaste while doing so and rinse your mouth with water.

It is also a good idea to use a brush with a built-in tongue cleaner on the back of the head.

Scraping

This requires the use of a device called tongue scraper, which can be made of plastic or metal. It helps scrape the surface of your tongue or peel the mucus-like layer of bacteria from it, starting at the back and pulling the tool forward. Different types and shapes of tongue scrapers are available in most drug stores.

Finishing a Dental Routine

Every time you brush and floss, don’t forget to clean your tongue. You can do it at least twice a day, once after you wake up and once before you go to bed. You may also use mouthwash to prevent plaque build-up, remove loose particles, and freshen your breath.

Just keep in mind, however, that a mouthwash rinse isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing.

After brushing or scraping your tongue, you may notice that your mouth feels cleaner. This is why you should make it a part of your daily routine, apart from brushing and flossing. Don’t forget to limit sugary snacks and beverages and see your dentist regularly to keep your mouth healthy.