Should I Brush my Tongue?

Just about everyone understands the importance of brushing their teeth on a daily basis. Most understand the importance of brushing their gums, but all too many neglect to brush their tongue during their oral care routine.

It can be easy to forget about the tongue when brushing. But, it is important to make it a habit during your oral care routine.

Why brushing your tongue is important

The tongue is vulnerable to bacteria that can cause oral health concerns in the same manner as teeth. This is why it is important to brush your tongue as well as the rest of the mouth.

The following are the reasons to brush your tongue, the risk of not doing so and how to properly brush your tongue to ensure good overall oral health.

Reasons to brush your tongue

The tongue can become covered with bacteria when it is not properly cleaned. Unfortunately, many neglect to brush their tongue, focusing only on their teeth and perhaps their gums.

However, there are many benefits to brushing the tongue as well, such as the following:

  • Keeps breath fresh
  • Promotes healthy teeth
  • Reduces the chance of infection

The most noticeable benefit initially when brushing your teeth is that it can help freshen breath. A failure to brush the tongue can cause a displeasing odor to form inside the mouth. This can be incredibly unappealing to others during social situations.

Brushing the tongue also helps ensure teeth are not exposed to excess amounts of bacteria. The risk of infection is greatly reduced when the tongue is free from harmful bacteria that may otherwise accumulate.

Risks of not brushing your tongue

The answer to why it is important to brush the tongue can be answered in a single word: Bacteria. Bacteria is the main reason for most oral health concerns. When bacteria combines with acid found in various food and drink types, it can eat away at enamel and cause cavities. An accumulation of bacteria along the gum line is one of the main reasons people develop periodontitis. It is also responsible for oral infections.

Bacteria can form on the tongue just as it can accumulate on the surface of teeth and on the gums. When the tongue is filled with bacteria, it can put individuals at greater risk of an oral infection, cavities and bad breath.

How to brush your tongue properly

Fortunately, it is easy to keep your tongue clean when consistent, proper care is administered. However, simply using mouthwash each day is not enough to keep the tongue clean.

Instead, it is important to brush the tongue each time the teeth are brushed, which should be a minimum of twice a day, in addition to a mouthwash routine to help kill any remaining bacteria.

In some instances, a tooth scraper may be necessary in order to keep a tongue clean. Be sure to discuss all options for keeping the tongue clean with your dentist, or give us a call today to learn more.

Request an appointment here: or call New York Dental Office at (212) 548-3261 for an appointment in our New York office.

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