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Do You Clean Your Tongue? Why You Should and How to Do It

August 14, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Gary Michaelson
Woman Brushing Teeth | Dentist in Orlando

Nearly everyone knows - even if not everyone does it – that toothbrushing twice a day is necessary to help protect and maintain your oral health. If you are already brushing according to instructions from your hygienist, congratulations. You’re taking a giant step toward a healthier smile.

But you may not know that cleaning your tongue at the same time is a good idea. There are several reasons for this:

Bacteria Causes Odors

Thousands of bacteria reside in your mouth, and while that might sound gross, not all of them are bad for your oral health. Some are present because they can fight off other microorganisms that cause disease.

While they can promote better oral health because they fight off disease-causing microorganisms, these bacteria produce byproducts like sulfur compounds that smell like, well, trash. And if you have dry mouth, the smell can get worse because there’s not enough saliva to rinse away the bacteria.

Cleaning Your Tongue Can Help

If you aren’t cleaning your tongue during oral hygiene, now is the perfect time to start. You can use your toothbrush to gently remove the bacteria, but if you have a strong gag reflex, this might not be a practical solution for you.

What you can do, though, is go out and purchase a tongue scraper which is specifically designed for that purpose. Stick your tongue all the way out and, starting at the back, gently drag the scraper outward to the tip, repeating until you’ve cleaned the entire surface. Just be sure to rinse the scraper after each pass so you don’t just spread the bacteria around on your tongue.

Call Your Orlando Dentist For More Information

Bad breath may also be an indication of a gum infection, which does threaten your oral health. If you have other symptoms like swollen or bleeding gums, contact your dentist in Orlando right away. Our outstanding hygiene team will be happy to answer your questions and provide guidance for maintaining a healthy mouth and fresh and sweet breath!

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