Many people neglect their tongue when they clean their mouths, either simply from not knowing it should be cleaned or from not knowing the correct way to clean it. Many people simply don’t see the point in thoroughly cleaning their tongue, but it is actually strongly recommended by dentists.
It is advised to brush your teeth twice a day to dislodge plaque and food debris from your teeth and gums and to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. In comparison, the smooth surface of your tongue makes it hard for plaque to take root and it is often washed away by saliva. As such it isn’t as necessary to clean your tongue as often in regards to preventing gum and tooth decay.
So why should I clean my tongue?
The main reason it is advised to clean the tongue is to prevent bad breath. Although it is very hard for plaque to get a foothold on the tongue, bacteria that can cause bad breath is often found at the rear of the tongue, towards the throat. Although not dangerous in the same way as plaque, this can lead to very poor smelling breath if it is allowed to build up.
How should I clean my tongue?
Using a regular toothbrush on your tongue at the same time as you brush your teeth is an effective and simple way of getting rid of bacteria. When you brush your tongue you don’t need to put too much force behind it, this could cause more damage than good. Because the area mostly affected by this bacteria is the back of the tongue, using a toothbrush can sometimes make you gag. To stop this, specifically designed tongue cleaners known as tongue scrapers can be bought from many pharmacies or supermarkets.
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Anyone who is suffering from bad breath should clean their tongue on a regular basis if they are not already doing so as it is one of the leading reasons for bad breath. It should also be remembered that the best way to go about this is to clean the very back of the tongue, using either a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.