Everyone knows how important it is to make sure that you care for your teeth properly and on a regular basis. Did you know that your tongue needs daily care as well?
Why Your Tongue Needs Cleaning
There are many reasons to keep your tongue as fresh and clean as your teeth. For one, your tongue is constantly touching your teeth. Even if you have brushed and flossed adequately, if you do not provide the same cleanliness to your tongue, your routine will be less effective. Your tongue can spread bacteria left on it back onto your teeth even after brushing them.
Another reason to keep your tongue clean is on behalf of your taste buds. Your tongue is covered in tiny bumps made up of taste buds. If you fail to clean your tongue properly, debris left on your tongue can actually obscure your taste buds. Keeping your tongue clean could result in being able to better taste your food.
Best Tongue Cleaning Practices
You probably know that it is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice daily and to floss regularly, but how should cleaning your tongue fit into your routine? Easily. Each time your brush your teeth, take a some extra time for your tongue. While some people recommend brushing your tongue with a soft bristle toothbrush, if it is the same brush used for your teeth this could just result in the transference of bacteria. Some people also find brushing their tongue uncomfortable.
An alternative to brushing is to gently scrape your tongue. Some brushes come with a tongue scraper on the backside of the bristles to make this easier, but you can also research and purchase a variety of different scrapers. Some look slightly like triangular bubble sticks, and others more closely resemble a rounded wire. Whatever feels most comfortable for you, add it to your routine. It should only take a few seconds. In addition, you can try using a mouthwash after scraping.
How to Know if Your Tongue is Healthy
If you have never spent much time cleaning your tongue before, you may wonder if your tongue is healthy. The tongue does have the potential to cause oral hygiene issues all on its own, and the best way to know if it is healthy is to ask your dentist. Before visiting your dentist, you can keep an eye out for warning signs, such as bad breath or a white film on your tongue that does not go away.
Having a regular brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning routine should help keep your tongue and teeth in good shape. If you have experienced any issues, or are worried about your oral health, talk to your dentist. Part of healthy oral care is keeping regular appointments with a dentist who can help put you on the right track to a healthy mouth.
If you have more questions about your oral hygiene, contact the office of Dr. Larry Molenda, D.D.S. located in San Marcos, TX.