Why Would You Want to Clean Your Tongue?

If you have halitosis, or bad breath, you will want to make sure that your mouth is clean from bacterial debris, food particles, etc. and so you will be brushing and flossing daily, and possibly using a mouthwash in your daily routine.

But did you know that your tongue holds onto most of the bacteria in your mouth? You will have seen this in action firsthand if you have ever looked at your tongue in the mirror when you wake up in the morning and a whitish coat is looking back at you. This coating is made of bacteria and dead cells that lie in the fingerlike projections (papillae) on the tongue.

This coating is what makes your breath smell, well, wrong. You will want to eliminate this by cleaning your tongue as you would your teeth.

You can use a variety of instruments, some designed for the job (tongue scrapers, which come in all shapes and sizes and are available in your local drugstore), or a metal spoon which you will use turned backwards and moistened with water. Finally, a toothbrush can also be used, although a toothbrush which is most effective against a solid surface like tooth enamel, is less effective on a spongy tongue.

Whichever method you choose, you will want to start at the back of your mouth (where most of the bacteria likes to congregate) and gently scrape down towards the front. Do this a few times and rinse your tool off in between scrapes.

And there you have it! It isn’t a complicated procedure, and is so helpful in keeping your mouth clear from the buildup of bacterial debris that you will want to take a few extra seconds in your day to incorporate this habit.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about how to keep your breath fresh and your smile bright! 503.877.1844