Your tongue is covered with bacteria, coffee turns it brown, red wine turns it red. In some smokers, the tongue can develop a condition known as black hairy tongue, due to a growth that may grow as a result of tobacco use. The condition causes the tongue to become yellow, green, black, or brown, and give the appearance of being hairy. The truth is, your tongue is just as much of a target for bacteria as your teeth are, even if it is not at risk for developing cavities itself.
Bacteria will accumulate greatly in the areas of the tongue between the taste buds and other tongue structures, It’s not smooth. There are crevices and elevations all over the tongue, and the bacteria will hide in these areas unless it is removed.”
Even if you’re an oral hygiene superl-star who brushes your teeth twice to three times a day, flosses regularly and dutifully visit’s your dentist every six months, you may still be missing one step that could help keep your mouth fresh and healthy.
Your tongue houses the most bacteria in your mouth. Even though brushing your teeth or rinsing with a mouthwash will eliminate a good portion of the bacteria, whatever is found on the tongue will deposit itself once again on your teeth, hence the importance of brushing your tongue thoroughly. Brushing your tongue can also help with breath issues.
You should brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth by going back and forth and side to side with your toothbrush and then rinsing thoroughly. If brushing your tongue makes you gag, think about investing in a tongue scraper instead.
Here’s how to clean your tongue with a toothbrush:
- Choose a soft-bristle toothbrushes
- Stick out your tongue as far as it will reach.
- Position your toothbrush at the back of the tongue.
- Brush lightly forward and backward along your tongue.
- Spit out saliva that appears during the brushing and rinse out the toothbrush with warm water.
- Clean your tongue as often as you brush your teeth.
“Tongue scraping is one of the most overlooked oral health practices. Regular scraping of the tongue removes bacteria that contributes to gum disease, cavities and bad breath”. Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles Family Dental
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