Many people are diligent about brushing and flossing, and while this helps keep decay-causing bacteria at bay, it’s not addressing all your mouth’s needs. Brushing the tongue is an important part of dental hygiene and something many people forget. Below, you’ll find a few important reasons to make tongue-brushing a daily habit.
Reasons You Should Be Cleaning Your Tongue
1. Preventing Bad Breath
The surface of your tongue is covered in grooves where bacteria can hide. Food debris can also become trapped, and this often results in bad breath. It can gradually become chronic and turn into halitosis. Brushing your tongue doesn’t take much effort—simply brush back and forth, side to side, and rinse your mouth. You can also invest in a tongue scraper for total coverage and better dental hygiene.
2. Preventing Decay & Gum Disease
The bacteria hiding on your tongue can transfer to your teeth and cause problems. They may begin eroding enamel and cause decay, or worse, contribute to plaque buildup along and below the gum line. This can result in gingivitis, and when untreated by a dentist, gum disease, which is why brushing your tongue should be part of your dental hygiene program. Make sure you’re also seeing your dentist twice a year for an in-depth cleaning.
3. Preventing Discoloration
The bumps on your tongue can become discolored by coffee and dark food particles, resulting in a black, hairy-looking tongue. Yeast can also grow there, leading to unsightly white patches. Brushing your tongue removes these problematic bacteria so that your tongue stays healthy and pink. Don’t make the mistake of simply rinsing; it’s not enough to remove the bacteria “film” that’s sitting on your tongue.
If you’re overdue for a dental hygiene exam, Ronald B. Potthoff, DDS, PC, can assist. He brings over 23 years of dentistry experience to the Greater Flathead Valley in Montana, including cosmetic dentistry solutions and general dental care. He takes a personalized approach with each patient and is committed to achieving lasting results. Call (406) 755-5280 to schedule a teeth cleaning.