We use our tongues more than we give credit for. It helps us taste, chew, and swallow, and it even helps us with our speech. The tongue is a vital, muscular organ in our mouth, so it’s essential that we take good care of it — specifically clean it. Here are the top 3 reasons for cleaning your tongue.
#1: The tongue is like a bacteria sponge; it collects odor-causing bacteria especially at the back of the tongue. If not removed, the overgrowth of bacteria will give off a foul odor, which will give you bad breath. Additionally, such bacteria may spread to your teeth, and gums and cause gingivitis.
#2: The nasty coating on bacteria and food particles that collect on the surface of your tongue can cover up your taste buds. Because of this, the delightful tastes of your favorite foods will be altered. By simply brushing and scraping off the top coat on the surface of our tongues, we could save ourselves from a lot of troubles and expensive trips to the dentist.
#3: Your tongue may look “hairy”. In fact, the bumps on the surface of the tongue can get bigger and start to look like hair. -So hair doesn’t actually grow on the tongue, but don’t think you’re okay just yet. These hairs can actually grow up to 18 millimeters in length and may sometimes look brown or black in color. This condition is usually harmless, but its appearance can be quite unpleasant. When you start cleaning your tongue, the hairs should go away.
Cleaning your tongue is very easy and inexpensive. Simply brush your tongue after brushing your teeth- it’s easy to incorporate to your daily oral hygiene routine! A couple of ways to keep your tongue clean and healthy is to either brush your tongue with a toothbrush or clean your tongue with a tongue scraper.
Tips on using a toothbrush:
Choose a toothbrush with soft to medium bristles to cause less damage to your tongue. Brush the surface of your tongue gently from back to front. For any discomfort you may experience, a small brush is the way to go!
Tips on using tongue scrapers:
Tongue scrapers are plastic tools that help clean your tongue. Start in the back of your tongue and gently scrape from the back to the front of your tongue. Rinse it off afterwards using tap water, mouthwash, or even a saline solution. A tongue scraper practically costs next to nothing! It can be found in any drug store, on Amazon, or you can just ask your dentist for one the next time you have your routinely checkup!