It’s essential to take care of your tongue to ensure good oral and overall health. It contains over 10,000 taste buds that allow us to enjoy our food and drinks. It also helps us to speak, eat and chew.
People often overlook taking care of their tongues.
The tongue can collect many bacteria that can later be transferred to your teeth and gums. Not cleaning your tongue will allow this bacteria to remain in your mouth, causing dental cavities and gum diseases.
Taking care of your tongue will also help eliminate the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth and prevent bad breath.
How to clean your tongue:
- Brushing: Remember to brush your tongue whenever you brush your teeth. This will help remove any bacteria or remnant food particles. Make sure to clean the toothbrush first, then start brushing your tongue with gentle strokes.
- Tongue scraper: You may consider using a tongue scraper if you have a severe gag reflex. Scraping will lightly scrape away the layer of mucus and bacteria growing on the tongue.
Tips for maintaining a clean tongue:
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking and rinsing your mouth with water is essential for your tongue’s health and shape. Water will keep it moist and fresh, preventing foul odor and stimulating saliva. Also, it will help you get rid of the bacteria on your tongue.
- Mouthwash: Rinsing your mouth will help to clean the surface of your tongue and also will help kill any residual bacteria.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking is very harmful to the tongue and can cause yellow stains. Smoking can also affect your taste buds, affecting your ability to taste well.
If you have questions about cleaning or caring for your tongue, don’t hesitate to contact our office at 312.943.6444 or request an appointment online.
Ramy Bahu, DDS