Oral Hygiene Basics: The Importance of Cleaning Your Tongue

Oral Hygiene Basics: The Importance of Cleaning Your Tongue from Midtown Dental - The Gallery of Smiles in Houston, TXBrushing and flossing are essential oral hygiene basics that help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. While many people pay careful attention to their teeth and gums, the tongue is often neglected. However, this large surface of the mouth should also be cleaned on a daily basis. Doing so can help many people enjoy better oral health.

Why it is important to clean your tongue

The textured surface of the tongue allows it to collect and hold onto bacteria and small particles. Over time, these substances accumulate and form a multilayered biofilm on the tongue. Water alone is not enough to penetrate the biofilm and sweep away the bacteria within it. For these reasons, the tongue should be cleaned frequently.

Reduce bacterial growth

Bacteria buildup is rarely a good thing, especially in a person's mouth. The more bacteria that are present, the more likely it is that a patient can develop dental caries, oral infections, and other illnesses and diseases. Cleaning your tongue can help remove excessive bacteria and reduce these risks.

Control bad breath

Buildup on the tongue consists of more than just bacteria. Dead skin cells and food remnants can also collect here. This combination can cause bad breath, especially in the mornings. Scraping the tongue clean is one of the most effective ways to address bad breath.

Enjoy a fresher mouth

Many people find that thoroughly cleaning their tongues improves not just the smell of their mouths, but the taste and feel as well. Removing buildup from inside the mouth keeps the tongue smooth and fresh, resulting in a more pleasant feel overall. It can also help remove any repulsive flavors that result from old food particles or bacteria.

Tools and techniques for proper tongue cleaning

Swishing with water is not enough to remove the thick film from the surface of the tongue. Brushing or scraping are required for a thorough cleaning. However, just as with other oral hygiene basics, it is necessary to use proper tools and a gentle hand; otherwise, the soft skin could easily be damaged.

Brushing and scraping

Some people find it is easy to clean the tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Adding this step to the end of every toothbrushing session can help control buildup. Even so, using a tongue scraper is usually more effective since it can cover the entire surface and remove the film in a single, sweeping motion.

Rinsing

While rinsing alone is not enough to remove the bacteria trapped against the tongue's surface, it can help sweep away newly loosened residue. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after brushing or tongue scraping. Using a mouthwash after these steps can also help ensure thorough cleaning by killing harmful bacteria that brushing or scraping may still leave behind.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Hygiene Basics in Houston, TX

Conclusion

Along with other oral hygiene basics, cleaning your tongue on a regular basis can help protect your teeth, gums, and the rest of your body. It can also freshen your breath and improve the overall feel of your mouth. Be sure to clean with care to avoid irritation or damage.

Request an appointment or call Midtown Dental - The Gallery of Smiles at 713-979-4127 for an appointment in our Houston office.

Recent Posts

Oral Hygiene Basics: Choosing The Right Toothbrush

Everyone learns oral hygiene basics when they are young, but some details get lost over time. For example, many adults are confused about what type of toothbrush to use. This simple tool comes in many different forms, including a variety of sizes and a range of bristle textures. You may wonder why there are so…

Oral Hygiene Basics: Choosing The Best Diet For Your Teeth

Healthy teeth are a vital part of being able to eat and enjoy food, but certain foods can be more harmful to dental health than others. Learning about foods that help and hurt the teeth is an important part of oral hygiene basics that can be helpful in guiding the choices people make when caring…

Oral Hygiene Basics: What Are Tartar And Plaque?

Although many people believe that plaque and tartar are the same, they actually have significant differences. Understanding the distinctions between these two dental conditions can help you identify their warning signs and practice oral hygiene basics to avoid them.Plaque is a soft film containing millions of bacteria that build up on your teeth, gums, and…

Recent Posts

Signs You Need A TMJ Dentist

5 Signs You Need A TMJ Dentist

A TMJ dentist is a dental professional who focuses on managing and treating the temporomandibular joint disorder. Typically, this type of dentist is one who undergoes general dentistry education and training, but they continue their studies about the temporomandibular joint and how it can negatively impact one's oral health.TMJ disorder refers to the dysfunction that…

Cosmetic Dental Services For Uneven Teeth

Cosmetic Dental Services For Uneven Teeth

If you suffer from uneven teeth, cosmetic dental services can help straighten your bite and improve your confidence in your smile. Straight teeth improve more than just appearance; they can also improve overall dental health as pieces of food get stuck more easily between crooked teeth. In addition, straight teeth are easier to clean with…

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry logo
American Dental Association logo
Acadaemy of General Dentistry logo
clearcorrect logo
International Association for Orthodontics logo
International Congress of Oral Implantologists logo
LVI Global logo
Top Doctor Logo
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry logo
American Dental Association logo
Acadaemy of General Dentistry logo
Top Doctor Logo
clearcorrect logo
International Association for Orthodontics logo
International Congress of Oral Implantologists logo
LVI Global logo