Most of us are aware of the importance of brushing the teeth to keep dental disease at bay, but have you even thought to include tongue cleaning in your daily oral hygiene regime?
Many of us dedicate 2 minutes every morning and evening to cleaning the teeth, but you could boost your oral health further by adding tongue cleaning to your daily routine. It’s incredibly important and beneficial to clean the tongue because the tongue tends to be a hot-bed for bacteria. Most cases of bad breath are directly linked to bacteria build-up on the tongue; when these bacteria feed, they give off gases, which have an unpleasant odour. Cleaning the tongue helps to target the cause of bad breath and will also help to remove bacteria and food debris, which reduces the risk of plaque formation; plaque is the main cause of dental decay and gum disease.
You can clean your tongue with a normal brush or invest in a tongue scraper, which is specially designed to remove bacteria and plaque from the surface of the tongue. Scrapers are very easy to use; you simply guide them across the tongue gently and let the device do the hard work. If you have any issues or you’re not sure how to clean your tongue, your dentist or dental hygienist will be happy to help. Your dental team can also help with brushing technique, using inter-dental brushes, giving up smoking, flossing, healthy eating and choosing oral hygiene products.
It’s also advisable to ensure that you keep up to date with routine dental check-ups and see a dental hygienist once a year; this is particularly beneficial if you are prone to bad breath or gum disease.
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