Is your tongue as clean as it should be? You may not even know if it’s not. Of course, you probably floss and brush your teeth twice a day to take care of your oral health. The old adage of two minutes per brushing session, both morning and at night, is what most dentists recommend. Know that it’s also vital for oral health to have a clean tongue. Here are some reasons why cleaning your tongue is so important and how to obtain the healthiest mouth possible.
What is Tongue Scraping or Cleaning?
Tongue scraping or cleaning can be done with a specific tool called a tongue scraper. You can also use your toothbrush. Some toothbrushes that you can buy have a rubber cleaning side with small nubs on the opposite part from the bristles.
A tongue scraper is an oral hygiene device that is rounded to help clean the top layer of film that coats the tongue. This film can be full of bacteria that can make your breath smell bad.
The Benefits of a Clean Tongue
There are many benefits to a clean tongue. The biggest one is that your breath will be much fresher and smell a lot cleaner. By cleaning the tongue, you are getting rid of odor molecules that are lingering after you eat different types of foods.
When you take care of your tongue, you are also making it look healthier and more pink in color. Sometimes the film that coats the tongue can look grayish, white, or yellow. By scraping that debris and bacteria away, you are going to be improving your oral health.
There is also some evidence to suggest that having a cleaner tongue can improve your sense of taste. As people age, the senses naturally get duller. You may be able to taste different sensations like bitter, salty, sweet, or sour by having a clean tongue.
Removing bacteria from your tongue can also help it from spreading to your teeth and gums. That extra bacteria or food particles can lead to cavities or gum disease.
Overall, no matter how well you care for your teeth and tongue at home, it’s still important to see a dentist in Jacksonville, Fl. Whether it’s for routine dental care like cleanings and x-rays, or if it is for cosmetic dentistry you may need to have done.
How to Clean Your Tongue
With a tongue scraper, use it twice a day when you brush your teeth. Gently scrape down your tongue three to four times, wiping the tongue scraper off with a tissue or wash cloth after you scrape each time.
Go back over the surface of your tongue as far back as you can go without gagging. You may need to start at the middle of your tongue until you get used to the feeling of cleaning your tongue.
If you don’t have a tongue scraper available, you can also just brush your tongue with a toothbrush to get the job done right.
The Tool You Need to Scrape Your Tongue
Scrapers are made of all different materials. You can find ones made of plastic, stainless steel, and even copper. Make sure you keep it clean by rinsing it off well after you use it. It’s helpful to experiment with different styles of tongue scrapers until you find the one you like best.
There are also dental hygiene companies that make disposable tongue scrapers that are very easy and hygienic to use.
Talk to a Skilled Dentist
When you have questions about your oral health and how to properly care for your tongue, feel free to contact the staff at Dr. Tiffany Shields’ office. Smiles by Shields Dentistry is here to take care of all your dental needs serving the Jacksonville, Fl and surrounding areas. We offer holistic dental services in a calm and welcoming environment.