You can look after your teeth and gums by brushing twice daily and flossing, but if you ignore your tongue, you are still leaving bacteria in your mouth that can cause damage to your teeth and gums. Here is why you should be brushing your tongue as well as your teeth.
Bacteria Build Up
Your tongue is covered in bacteria and is just as much of a breeder of bacteria as your teeth and gums are. Even though your tongue cannot become infected or get a cavity, this bacterium left in your mouth will find its way back to your teeth and gums no matter how much you clean them. Your tongue is full of crevices and therefore is a great place for bacteria to live and breed.
What Can Bacteria Build Up Cause?
The bacteria are a group of microorganisms that stick together on the tongue and can be dangerous. You would wash any other part of your body, so why not your tongue which comes into contact with everything you put in your mouth? Mouthwash or drinking water isn’t enough to remove this bacterium as it is sticking into the crevices between your taste buds. This can lead to bad breath and even damage your teeth. Therefore, it is necessary to remove this bacterium daily and is also why toothbrushes have bristles on both sides.
How Do I Clean My Tongue?
Cleaning your tongue is simple and most toothbrushes have a soft bristle on the other side of the brushing side to do so. If you have an electrical toothbrush you may not have one of these. You can purchase a tongue scraper at many drug stores, but this may not prevent bad breath. You do not want to overbrush your tongue as it is more sensitive to damage than teeth. Just as you brush your teeth, brush your tongue back and forth and side to side. Once finished, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of the bacteria that has become unattached to your tongue. This will ensure your bad breath goes away too. If bad breath is still a problem, this could be a sign of something more serious.
The best way to ensure you are brushing your tongue properly is to ask your dentist. They can talk you through and let you know how well you are doing. If you need a check-up, contact us to schedule an appointment with the best dentist in New York.