Worried about Bad Breath... Don’t Forget To Clean Your Tongue!

A HEALTHY TONGUE is incredibly important for a healthy mouth. As dentists  we know we talk a lot about your teeth and gums, but we couldn’t talk about anything let alone taste or swallow without that amazing muscle, the tongue.


Get Rid of Bacteria by Cleaning Your Tongue

Giraffes tongue beale and cullen

You’ve brushed your teeth for two minutes just like we’ve told you, you’ve flossed or used those great little interdental brushes between your teeth and you think you’re finished. Not so fast! Cleaning your tongue is just as important as cleaning your teeth.

Did you know that almost 50 percent of the bacteria in your mouth is on your tongue?

If you don’t bother to clean your tongue, bacteria will transfer to your teeth even after you’ve brushed. Your “tooth cleaning” routine should always include a good tongue cleaning as well!

Here’s another interesting fact, 90 percent of bad breath comes from a dirty tongue! Until you learn how to clean your tongue, you may not be able to get rid of that lingering halitosis.

Easy Tips for Cleaning Your Tongue

When cleaning your tongue you have options. A tongue scraper, a tongue brush or your lovely soft toothbrush.

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  • Use a tongue scraper for a thorough cleaning. This is usually made of soft, flexible plastic. It gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from your tongue. Gently scrape from the back of your tongue to the front and remember to rinse the scraper after every swipe of the tongue.

  • A tongue brush works just as well as a scraper. Some people use a tongue brush that has bristles designed to clean out all the grooves of the tongue. Again, start by cleaning at the back of your tongue and work your way forward. Remembering of course to rinse the brush well after use.

  • Toothbrushes are for teeth. Although it is better to clean your tongue with a toothbrush than tnot clean your tongue at all remember toothbrushes were designed to clean the hard enamel of your teeth, not your soft, squidgy tongue.  Using your toothbrush won’t be as effective as a tongue brush or scraper but the mechanism is the same; start at the back and work your way to the front and rinse it well when you’re done.

Your mouth will thank you for a clean, healthy tongue. Cleaning your tongue once or twice a day before or after brushing will improve your oral health, and help freshen your breath! It’s a win-win!