Keeping up with your dental hygiene is one of the best ways to protect your smile.
One important habit to develop is cleaning the tongue. This helps remove bacteria, freshens the breath, and even makes flavors stronger. Cleaning your tongue even once a day can make a big difference in your oral health.
Learn more from your McAllen dentist on why and how to clean your tongue.
All About Your Tongue
While your tongue looks smooth at a glance, the surface is much rougher than you might realize. Your taste buds, called papillae, make the surface bumpy.
Unfortunately, the small crevices on your tongue are the perfect places for bacteria to hide and grow.
What Is Biofilm?
Biofilm is a structure found in the microbiome of your tongue and consists of colonies of bacteria that cling to the surface of your tongue and each other. Some of these bacteria are beneficial as they help maintain a healthy mouth and teeth.
On the other hand, there are nasty bacteria that can cause serious issues like tooth decay and gum inflammation. Biofilm is also pretty tough, so while rinsing or using mouthwash can kill surface bacteria, it won’t touch deeper bacteria.
Why Your McAllen Dentist Wants You to Clean Your Tongue
Cleaning your tongue is a simple addition to your daily routine. You can help remove bacteria and keep your mouth healthy with just 30 seconds a day. Your breath will be fresh and you may even enjoy stronger flavors.
What Are the Best Tools for Cleaning Your Tongue?
You have a few tools available when it comes to cleaning your tongue well. (Adults and older children have a few more options than toddlers and younger kids.)
- Use the toothbrush you already have: Brushing the tongue with your toothbrush works pretty well. Some toothbrushes have nubs on the back to make scrubbing the tongue easier.
- Use a tongue scraper: Tongue scrapers are tools that can easily scrape off the biofilm. These work great, but it can be hard to find the right size for small mouths.
- Use a spoon: If you don’t want to pay for a special tool, a simple spoon can work well.
How To Use a Tongue Scraper
Using a tongue scraper is fairly simple for adults. To use a tongue scraper:
- Brush as normal and be sure to brush your tongue with toothpaste.
- Use your scraper of choice. Go as far back as you can and pull the tool towards the tip of the tongue. Be gentle, you don’t need much pressure. Too much can lead to injuries.
- Rinse off the scraper after every pass and clean it after use.