Cleaning Your Tongue

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You may do a great job of brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste. You may even be a champion flosser, and you may even be the person who never misses an appointment with the dentist. But if you are keeping up on your brushing, flossing, and dental visits, and still suffer from bad breath, maybe it is time you started cleaning your tongue. Many people don’t think about cleaning their tongues, which is odd, since the tongue is so important for speaking, eating and tasting.

Be that as it may, your tongue is home to bacteria; a great deal of bacteria, in fact. Even if you do an exemplary job of brushing your teeth, if you don’t clean your tongue, you are leaving that bacteria in place to continue to breed and to cause bad breath.

There are three options for cleaning your tongue. The first is your toothbrush. It makes sense, since you already have one and when you brush your tongue, you have either just finished brushing your teeth, or are getting ready to do so. However, your toothbrush is designed to clean your teeth, not your tongue. If you are going to use your toothbrush, start at the back of your tongue and gently scrub your way forward. Another option is a tongue scraper which is made of plastic, or metal. A tongue scraper is easy to use: you start at the back of the tongue and pull it forward. Finally there is the tongue brush, which has bristles designed specifically for cleaning your tongue. Just like using your toothbrush, you should work your way from the back of your tongue to the front. As you clean, make sure that you reach the entire tongue, including the sides. Your brush or scraper should be thoroughly rinsed before and after you use it.

If you have questions about effective oral hygiene, dealing with bad breath, or if you have another dental concern or issue, the staff at Who Does Your Teeth in Henrico, Virginia would be happy to visit with you. To make an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Neal, call 804-447-1435 today.