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Why You Should Always Brush Your Tongue

added on: February 18, 2020
father and son brushing teeth

Your dentist in McMinnville may spend a lot of time talking about the health of your teeth and the best way to take care of them. After all, dentists are responsible for doing everything they can to make sure your pearly whites stay strong for a lifetime. But there’s another part of your oral health that’s often forgotten but shouldn’t be ignored — your tongue. 

Fast Facts

Your tongue is a fascinating part of your body and is responsible for a lot of important things. In fact, your tongue helps you speak, chew, and swallow. It’s also one of the strongest muscles in your entire body! But your tongue can also hide some dangerous bacteria, and if you don’t care for your tongue properly, these bacteria can cause a lot of problems. 

Benefits of a Clean Tongue

Every time you brush and floss, make sure to give your tongue some attention. Properly cleaning your tongue can help: 

  • Food Taste Better. As we’ve mentioned, tongues can hold a lot of bacteria. These bacteria can build up on taste buds and influence the way foods taste. By cleaning your tongue daily, you’re freeing up your taste buds to absorb all of your favorite foods so that you’re able to savor every last delicious bite. 
  • Freshen Breath. Even though bad breath can be caused by many different things, tongue bacteria are often to blame. When you don’t remove all of the bacteria build-up from your tongue, it can put off an unpleasant odor. If you notice that your breath isn’t so minty-fresh, make sure you’re brushing your tongue every day. If the bad breath doesn’t go away, schedule an appointment with your dentist in McMinnville as it may be a sign of something more serious. 
  • Make Teeth Healthier. Your teeth are in constant contact with your tongue — all day and all night. This means that anything lurking on your tongue can easily transfer to your teeth. So when bacteria are left lingering around on your tongue, it can affect your teeth and cause decay, cavities, or even gum disease

How to Brush Your Tongue

It’s just as important to brush your tongue every day as it is to brush and floss. So every time you pick up your toothbrush, make sure to show your tongue some love. Proper tongue brushing includes starting from the back and gently brushing forward, then swiping your toothbrush from left to right. If you have trouble brushing your tongue, try using a tongue scraper. This little tool is also effective at removing tongue bacteria and may be easier for those with a sensitive gag reflex. 

As always, make sure you see your dentist in McMinnville twice a year, as well as practice good oral hygiene habits at home… including your tongue.