Why Should We Clean Our Tongue?

Our tongue is a magnet for bugs (of all kinds)!Do we need to brush (or otherwise scrape and clean) our tongue? And the answer is yes. But why? We don’t chew food with our tongue. We cannot get a cavity on our tongue. No matter how much (or how little) we floss it won’t make a difference to our tongue. So why do we need to brush our tongue?

The answer has to do with the anatomy of the tongue. In spite of our tongue feeling nice and smooth to us, it has thousands upon thousands of tiny folds and grooves on it. And in these folds and grooves is where the tiny bacteria can hide. The same bacteria that cause tooth decay or gum disease find a nice home in the nooks and crannies on the tongue. Not only that, but plaque also becomes trapped in these tiny grooves. The bacteria then use the plaque to proliferate (e.g. multiply). So our tongue then becomes a safe haven for bacteria and it is this bacterial content along with the plaque that causes bad breath.

Fortunately, we can clean our tongues easily (way easier than flossing!). There are 2 main ways of cleaning your tongue. We are not talking about rinsing with mouthwashes (although that helps too). We are talking about mechanically cleaning our tongue. One way is to use your toothbrush after you have brushed your teeth. Gently brush forward on the tongue starting as far back as you can without making yourself gag. Just remember, don’t push hard. Gently brush forward. Do this a few times trying to cover the entire surface of the tongue (just the top side, no need to brush the bottom side).

Tongue scrapers great from cleaning the tongueAnother option is to use a “tongue scraper.” These are made of plastic and allow for simple cleaning of the tongue rather quickly. You fold these like a “U” shape and just run it over the tongue (back to front).

Not only cleaning your tongue will make your breath fresher, it will also open up your taste buds. You can once again begin tasting the food in your mouth without all the bugs and bacteria impairing your taste buds. Be sure to visit our web store to find tongue scrapers and other hygiene-related products.

Happy “tonguing!”

Platinum Dental Inc. Blogging Staff