At Valderrama Orthodontics, we specialize in invisible and regular braces for young people and adults. We talk about teeth all the time at our orthodontic practices in Melbourne, Rockledge, and Viera. For affordable braces, you can’t beat the options we provide! Chatting about the benefits of different braces is fun for us, but today, we’re going to discuss another important part of the mouth, how to best clean your tongue. Did you know that the tongue can harbor up to half of the bad bacteria in your mouth? That’s a pretty scary thing to think about especially if you aren’t that diligent about cleaning your tongue each day.
The tongue is such an integral part of oral health that, surprisingly, most people aren’t effectively cleaning the tongue each time they brush. This is something we end up telling our patients all the time, “don’t forget to clean your tongue.” Here are some tips on oral health for your tongue that you need to start doing each time you brush.
Why Cleaning Your Tongue Is Important
The tongue serves so many purposes for your mouth. It’s covered in small papillae that give your tongue a unique texture, almost like a fingerprint for your mouth. The problem is that this type of surface is also great at attracting and trapping dead skin cells, bacteria, and leftover debris from the foods you eat and even the liquids you drink.
If you don’t effectively cleanse your tongue each day, you are going to be at risk of having bad breath and a host of other issues, like contributing to more cavities and periodontal disease. That’s why it’s so vital that you pay special attention to this muscular organ in your mouth.
Various Options for a Cleaner Tongue
There are several methods to achieve a cleaner tongue. First, you want to make sure that when you are brushing your teeth with your toothbrush, you take an extra minute to brush your tongue. The best type of toothbrush is a soft one, so you don’t aggravate the tongue by being too harsh with cleaning.
A gentle toothbrush will work to scrub all those bad bacteria and food particles away. The best way to do this is to brush your teeth first, rinse off your toothbrush, and then scrub your tongue for at least 30 seconds. You can brush the roof of your mouth as well during this time. Do this routine twice a day for the best oral health.
The Benefits of a Tongue Scraper
Another way to cleanse the tongue is by using a tongue scraper. This is a tool that looks like a small plastic u-shaped hook. You hold both ends and gently scrape it down your tongue with light pressure. Rinse the tongue scraper after each time you scrape. Do this four or five times until your tongue feels clean. You can find one of these tongue scraping devices right in the oral health aisle of your local drugstore or big box store.
Refresh Your Mouth With a Mouthwash
Another way to kill bacteria on your tongue and freshen up your breath in the process, is to use an alcohol-free mouthwash. This doesn’t replace brushing or scraping your tongue, but it goes a long way in improving the oral health of your tongue.
Find a mouthwash you like and use it twice a day for the best oral hygiene routine. There are many brands and types available to buy at your local drugstore that contain fluoride, which improves the strength of the enamel on your teeth too.
A Sparkling Clean Tongue for Better Oral Health
You’ll be amazed at how much better your breath is with a cleaner tongue. When you start paying attention to this important area of your mouth, you are doing tons of good for your oral health. Even though at Valderrama Orthodontics, we specialize in all types of lingual braces, bride braces, and engineer braces, that doesn’t mean we can’t champion the health of your tongue. So when we say, “don’t forget to brush your tongue”, we are making sure that your total mouth health is a priority. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your next appointment.