Most of us know that it’s important to clean our teeth, but do you brush your tongue too? If you don’t already tag cleaning your tongue onto the end of your twice-daily brushing sessions, now is the time to start. Brushing your tongue is hugely beneficial for your oral health.
When you brush your teeth, you’re only cleaning part of your mouth. This means that there are still harmful bacteria and bits of food lying around. Brushing your tongue helps to eliminate oral bacteria and remove food debris before the two combine with saliva to form plaque. Brushing your tongue is also a really effective means of preventing bad breath, as most cases of halitosis are linked to collections of bacteria at the base of the tongue. These bacteria release odorous gases, which is why you get bad breath. If you do spend a moment cleaning your tongue, you can reduce your risk of decay, gum disease and bad breath.
You can either use your normal toothbrush or a tongue cleaner to brush your tongue. Using your brush, gently cover the surface of the tongue, guiding the brush towards the back of your mouth, but taking care not to get too far. If you use a tongue cleaner, also known as a scraper, you simply move the appliance over the tongue and it removes bacteria and any bits of leftover food.
If you need help with cleaning your tongue or you’d like more information about why it’s important to brush the tongue, ask your dentist or dental hygienist or give us a call if you haven’t got an appointment due for a while.
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