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Don’t Neglect Tongue Hygiene

We introduce foods and other substances into our mouths throughout the day. They react with natural bacteria in our mouths to create plaque that could affect our oral health. Regular oral hygiene cleans away harmful residues to keep our mouths clean and healthy.

Though you know you must floss and brush your teeth during your oral hygiene regimen, many people do not realize that they must clean their tongues too. Skipping this step can have grave consequences for the look and feel of your smile. Read on to learn more about the importance of adhering to good oral hygiene for your tongue as well as how to keep your tongue clean.

Don't Neglect Tongue Hygiene

Risks of Neglecting to Clean Your Tongue

At first glance, your tongue has a smooth appearance. But the surface of the tongue contains papillae, bumps that allow you to taste and in fact give your tongue a rough finish. Bits of food and bacteria can collect around these bumps easily.

If you only brush your teeth, not your tongue, bacteria can spread from the tongue and affect your teeth once again. This puts you in great danger of tooth decay, gum disease, and many other dental concerns.

Plus, lingering food and bacteria on your tongue will emit a foul odor after a while. This can give you bad breath. You can keep your smile fresh, clean, and healthy when you take care of your tongue as well as the rest of your smile during your oral hygiene regimen.

How to Properly Clean Your Tongue

When you complete your oral hygiene routine, pay special attention to your tongue so that you can maximize oral cleanliness. In order to get your mouth as clean as possible, you should:

  • Brush and floss your teeth as normal.
  • Scrape or clean your tongue.
  • Rinse with mouthwash.

Brushing your teeth and flossing remain crucial steps to at-home preventative dental care, so do not skip these steps. Consistent and thorough cleaning of your teeth will prevent serious dental problems and reduce harmful bacterial spread.

During your oral hygiene regimen, brush the surface of your tongue as well. The bristles of your toothbrush can clear away lingering residues that may otherwise harm your oral health. Your usual toothbrush can do this task well, but some people prefer using a tongue scraper for more targeted cleaning.

Rinsing with mouthwash at the end of your regimen can wash away any last bits of food or other particles that you might miss with your toothbrush alone. It can give your mouth a boost in freshness and cleanliness. Plus, if you choose an antibacterial mouthwash, you can keep oral bacteria balanced to further reduce the risk of infections and other issues.

Make sure you continue visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and dental cleanings too to maximize oral hygiene. Give your dentist a call to learn more tips about preventive oral health care, oral hygiene, and cleaning your tongue specifically.