Brushing your teeth twice a day is an essential part of every oral hygiene routine, but don’t forget about the bacteria that could be living on your tongue! We’ll go over why and how you should brush your tongue every day to clean off any accumulated bacteria.
How Bacteria Can Affect Your Oral Health
- Tooth Decay
- Dull Taste Buds
When you eat, particles and bacteria latch onto your tongue and get stuck in its tiny crevices. Bacteria from your tongue can also spread to your teeth, causing tooth decay and other issues. Yikes!
Although your tongue can’t get cavities, it can still pick up harmful bacteria that can lead to chronic bad breath, or halitosis. Bad breath is something no one wants to experience and the bacteria living on your tongue is its number one cause. The longer bacteria lives on your tongue, the more odor it will produce. Store-bought mouthwash is a temporary solution to bad breath, but it will not permanently eliminate the stench. This bacteria needs to be regularly brushed off with a soft-bristled toothbrush or a tongue scraper.
A large amount of bacteria present on your tongue can dull your taste buds, making certain foods less enjoyable.
In rare cases, people can develop oral thrush (also known as oropharyngeal candidiasis) inside their mouth due to a yeast infection when bacteria levels are imbalanced. The main sign of the overgrowth of Candida albicans in your mouth is white patches on the tongue that need to be treated with an anti-fungal medicine.
How to Prevent These Issues
- Brush Away the Bacteria
- Rinse with Mouthwash
Brush your teeth, then focus on your tongue. Start at the back of the tongue and gently brush toward the front, and then go side-to-side. Add a dab of toothpaste when you brush your tongue if it makes you feel more comfortable. Some toothbrushes have a feature on the backside of the toothbrush specifically for brushing your tongue.
Once you’re finished brushing your tongue, gargle with the suggested amount of mouthwash on your mouthwash’s container for about 30 seconds. It is important to choose an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash to help kill any leftover bacteria.
To learn about more methods or tips for brushing your tongue, contact our office today!