We all know the importance of taking care of our dental health. We know that you need to brush every day, floss, avoid sugary foods and other best practices when it comes to oral hygiene. And we also know the consequences of not doing so. Eventual need for braces, fillings, dentures, false teeth and other advanced surgeries will result from neglecting your mouth.

But what is rarely talked about is the importance of keeping your tongue healthy. Your tongue can have an influence on your teeth, your mouth biome, how much your breath stinks, and more. In fact, it can even have an influence on how you taste and smell things. It also can have an impact on the overall health of your body, and more directly inform your doctor of the state of your health. 

While the tongue may be one of the strongest muscles in the body per inch, it needs some help maintaining healthiness. It’s a complex muscle, which food passes through, with thousands of taste receptors, in an oscillating wet-dry environment, and all of this together is the reason bacteria can thrive there.

Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to maintain your tongue’s health. 

Eat Healthy Foods

One of them is to ensure that your overall diet is conducive to both healthy microbiomes and tongue health. This means less acidic foods, and less sugary food and drinks. It also means drinking plenty of water, as a dry mouth can contribute to the growth of bacteria.

Caring for Your Tongue Before Sleeping

Before going to bed it is recommended that you take care to ensure you are properly hydrated. When we sleep and breathe through our mouth, our mouth dries out and contributes to bacteria on the tongue. Certain types of toothpastes are also known to help the mouth biome. These generally include proteins or other elements found in saliva that are conducive to healthy biomes.

Brush Your Tongue

Another thing that can be done is to directly clean the tongue. This should be done twice a day, after brushing the teeth and after washing off the brush. The toothpastes mentioned above can be helpful, as well as use of baking soda or occasionally charcoal based toothpastes being used since they are not as acidic as traditional toothpastes. 

Scrape Your Tongue

Tongue scraping is another option, using a tongue scraper, to clear the debris, leftover particles and bacteria from your mouth. This can ensure that your tongue does not become a reservoir for bad oral health. If you have trouble brushing the back of your throat, a tongue scraper has the advantage of not triggering a gag reflex.

Oral Rinses

Oral rinses can also be conducive to keeping your tongue clean. Swishing is important, as that provides the friction to dislodge particles. Similar principle to drinking water, but water also contributes directly to health once it is absorbed in the stomach.

Visit Your Dentist

Visiting a dentist at least twice a year is also important, as there are things that can not be done easily at home. This will ensure as well that you catch any issues before they become serious problems. If you’re looking for a dentist in San Marcos, TX, contact Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. today–we’d love to help keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful!