Tongue Brushing: Option or Necessity?

We can all agree that brushing your teeth is very important. But what about brushing your tongue? If you think of tongue brushing as merely an option rather than a necessity, think again. Brushing your teeth is most certainly the primary method of fighting gum disease and tooth decay. However, if you neglect to brush you tongue, you are leaving the majority of harmful bacteria in your mouth. What does harmful bacteria do? It leads to gum disease, tooth decay and the inevitable bad breath! Did you know that there are as much bacteria on your tongue than there are people on the planet? This fact alone should motivate you to clean your tongue tonight.

Your tongue provides the perfect home for bacteria. Its surface is rough, which allows many nooks for bacteria from the environment, food and beverages you consume to live and breed. Even if your teeth were cleaned perfectly, the bacteria left on your tongue will eventually get transferred back to your teeth. It may only take a few hours after you brush and your teeth are covered with harmful bacteria again.

Besides preventing a wasted effort in teeth brushing, tongue brushing is the number one way to prevent bad breath as well. Gum, mints and other breath fresheners only mask bad breath, but eliminating the bacteria from your tongue can get to the root of your halitosis. The correct way to brush the tongue is to brush the entire surface of your tongue, both on top and underneath. Then, rinse thoroughly to get rid of the food particles and bacteria. Some patients prefer a separate tongue-cleaning tool to get the job done. There are many varieties of tongue scrapers that make great choices and are just as effective as a toothbrush, especially if you have an easy gag reflex. Group Health Dental can help you with your brushing technique, to ensure you are giving yourself the most well rounded preventative dental care at home. Take the extra few seconds and brush that tongue today!

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