Many people brush, floss and use a water flosser to clean their teeth — and all for the purpose or removing bacteria that forms plaque and tartar so they can have healthy teeth and gums. Yet, your tongue also is an area where harmful bacteria can collect and thrive in your mouth.
According to healthline.com, bacteria can accumulate between the taste buds and other uneven parts of your tongue. Bacteria can cause bad breath and tooth damage as well.
Rinsing your mouth isn’t effective for cleaning your tongue. You have to physically remove the bacteria from your tongue, and there are several ways to do this.
You can take your toothbrush and use a small dab of toothpaste. Brush the top of your tongue. Start in the back and brush from side to side but make sure you focus on brushing the middle of your tongue, where most of the mucus forms. Afterwards, rinse out your mouth.
A tongue scraper is another way to clean your tongue. A tongue scraper consists of flexible plastic and gently scrapes the mucus layer of bacteria off your tongue. Too much force will make your tongue bleed, and if that happens, use lighter pressure. Rinse off the scraper when you’re done.
Some water piks also have tongue scraper attachments you can use to clean your tongue. The attachment is in the shape of a contoured spoon, which wets and sprays the tongue while scraping to sweep away the bacteria.
When you brush your teeth twice daily, also clean your tongue at the same time.
At Hutto Hippo Family Dental, we’re glad to provide you with dental hygiene tips to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.