Why Cleaning Your Tongue Is Beneficial for Your Mouth and Overall Health
While most bacteria are harmless, some can be dangerous. If not cleaned, these harmful bacteria can breed and multiply, causing oral issues, such as bad breath, yeast infection (oral thrush), advanced gum disease, discolored appearance on the tongue, and more. Good oral hygiene habits include brushing 2X a day (for 2 minutes each time), flossing daily, visiting your dentist at least every six months, and cleaning your tongue! You cannot enjoy the full benefits of good dental hygiene if you do not clean your tongue regularly. Your tongue helps you chew, swallow, and speak, but it is also a breeding ground for bacteria!
The All-Round Benefits of Tongue Cleaning and Scraping
While improving your oral health, tongue cleaning can enhance your overall health. Here is how it helps:
1. Removes Bacteria
Bacteria are the leading cause of many dental problems, including bad breath, dental decay, and gum disease. Cleaning your tongue can help remove dead cells, food debris, and harmful bacteria in your mouth while maintaining the right balance of good bacteria.
2. Improves Your Sense of Taste
Cleaning your tongue twice a day can enhance your taste buds, keeping your palate fresh. This way, you can better distinguish between different (sweet, salt, bitter, and sour) tastes while enjoying them.
3. Removes Bad Breath
According to a study, cleaning your tongue twice a day for a week can help reduce the presence of lactobacilli bacteria and mutans streptococci that are known to cause tooth decay and bad breath.
4. Improves Your Digestion
The enzymes present in the saliva break down the food for easy digestion, and cleaning your tongue is essential for activating these enzymes.
5. Boosts Your Immunity
If harmful bacteria and toxins have accumulated in your mouth, your immune system has to work harder to fight them off, thus becoming weak or suppressed. However, cleaning your tongue can help remove the harmful bacteria, keeping your immune system healthy.
How to Clean Your Tongue
Follow these steps to clean your tongue.
- Keep your mouth wide open and stick out your tongue
- Gently place the tongue scraper on the back of your tongue and slowly pull it forward to collect debris and saliva
- Now, clean the scraper with water
- Repeat the scraping process 3-5 times, but make sure to clean the scraper after every scrape
- Rinse your mouth with water after you finish scraping
- If you don’t have a tongue scraper, you can use a regular manual toothbrush. Just remember to start in the back of your mouth and brush forward not to gag yourself!
Though at-home scraping helps keep your tongue clean, a professional dental visit is essential to know whether your tongue and mouth are actually healthy!
If you are looking for an experienced dentist in Scottsdale, Arizona, contact us today at Smile Arizona Dentistry. Our lead dentist, Dr. Beth Vander Schaaf, is highly experienced in providing best-in-class dental care that addresses your dental problems while helping you look and feel your best with a great smile!