You brush and floss twice a day, but if you aren't also eliminating the bacteria on your tongue, you can be doing more harm than good to your oral health. Cleaning your tongue is crucial, according to dentists, whether it's to prevent bad breath or simply for dental health.
Your tongue has bacterial growth on it
Even while it is not susceptible to getting cavities itself, your tongue is nevertheless just as big of a target for bacteria as your teeth are.
According to John D. Kling, DDS of Alexandria, Virginia, "Bacteria will accumulate greatly in the areas of the tongue between the taste buds and other tongue structures." "It's not easy. The tongue is covered with ridges and crannies, and if the bacteria isn't eliminated, it will hide there.
Rinsing is useless
So what is this accumulation? Kling asserts that it's not merely innocuous saliva. It is a biofilm, or a collection of bacteria that adhere to one another, on the tongue's surface. Unfortunately, there isn't a simple way to get rid of it like drinking water or using mouthwash.
Because oral rinses, for instance, only destroy the biofilm's surface cells, it is challenging to eradicate the bacteria that have been embedded in the biofilm, claims Kling. "Cells below the surface are still active."
These microorganisms can cause tooth damage and poor breath. As a result, brushing or washing are required to physically eliminate the microorganisms.
Cleaning your tongue
Every time you brush your teeth, Kling advises, you should also brush your tongue. It's quite easy: brush your teeth back and forth, side to side, and with water.
But be careful not to overbrush. Don't break the skin, please!
A tongue scraper is preferred by some people. These are sold in the majority of pharmacies. There is no proof, according to the American Dental Association, that tongue scrapers may stop halitosis (bad breath).
Still a problem with bad breath?
Bad breath normally disappears after cleaning your tongue, but if it persists, you might want to see a dentist or your doctor. Your issue might be more significant. Tooth decay, throat, nose, sinus, or mouth infections, drug side effects, cancer, or even diabetes can all contribute to bad breath.
Your everyday dental routine can be easily expanded to include tongue brushing. Experts advise developing a recurrent habit out of it.