“BRUSH YOUR TEETH TWICE A DAY FOR TWO MINUTES AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH ONCE A DAY.” You’ve certainly heard that a million times, but how often have you heard that you should clean your tongue every day as well?
The Difference a Clean Tongue Makes
Bacteria prefer to live on our tongues more than any other part of our bodies. All those tiny fissures in the tongue’s surface are great real estate for viruses of all types. If we don’t wipe our tongues regularly, harmful bacteria will remain on our tongues and thrive, causing bad breath and contributing to tooth decay on the inside surfaces of our teeth.
Another incentive to get rid of all the germs on your tongue on a regular basis is that it can significantly improve your perception of taste. The tastebuds have a hard time doing their job when the tongue is covered in bacteria, but once the bacteria is gone, they’re free to absorb all those delectable flavors to their maximum potential. Yum!
Chemical digestion begins in our mouths, and having a clean tongue aids this process. So, clean your tongue if you want to enjoy your favorite foods as much as possible, keep your breath fresh, and improve your digestive health!
Finding The Best Tools For Cleaning Your Tongue
It takes more than swishing mouthwash or rinsing with water to keep your tongue clean. The germs hidden in all those small grooves is tenacious, and simply washing with liquid will not suffice. To really clear off the biofilm of bacteria, you need to scrape it with a tongue-scraper.
If you don’t find these in the grocery store near the toothbrushes, you can order one online, and some toothbrushes have tongue scrapers built in on the reverse side. Between brushing and rinsing your teeth is the best time to scrape your tongue. Start at the back and work forward, and try to get as much of the surface area as you can.
You might be startled by how much biofilm the tongue scraper removes in the first few days, but the longer you stick with it, the cleaner your tongue will get, until you’re scraping away nothing but clean spit. When you get to this point, see whether you notice a difference in your breath or your sense of taste!
Tongue-Scraping Is Older Than You Think
If you’ve never heard of tongue-scraping before, you might believe it’s a novel concept, yet it’s been practiced in various civilizations since ancient times. In Ayurveda, India’s traditional medicine, it’s part of the daily cleanliness practice. Tongue-scraping tools have been made of many different materials across the centuries, including copper, silver, gold, ivory, whalebone, and tortoiseshell. Today, they’re typically plastic or stainless steel.
Have Any Questions About Tongue Cleaning?
Just give us a call if you have any queries about tongue cleaning or would want our advice on the appropriate tools for the process. We like assisting our patients in improving their everyday dental hygiene routines, and we hope to see you at your next consultation!