Maintaining your oral health plays a vital role in your overall health. Studies show that people who have poor oral hygiene will most likely acquire certain diseases apart from dental problems. In line with this, this dentist in West Ryde, NSW, advises that brushing the tongue must be done regularly as it is an important part of oral care.
Health Benefits of Tongue Cleaning
Food particles, debris, and bacteria can build up in the tongue. Not brushing your tongue can result in bad breath and can even have a huge impact on your overall health.
You may use a tongue scraper in your tongue cleaning regimen, but your toothbrush can also be an effective tool to remove the unwanted build-ups.
Brushing your tongue regularly can benefit you in many ways such as:
- Improving your sense of taste. It’s been determined that tongue cleaning twice a day can significantly improve your taste buds. You will be able to distinguish different tastes likes sour, bitter, sweet, and salty which will make your mealtime more enjoyable for you.
- It improves the appearance of your tongue. Ever notice how some people tend to have a white patch on their tongue? It’s quite unappealing, isn’t it? The daily tongue cleaning will help so you will not have to face the same embarrassment of white tongue.
- Brushing removes bacteria. Keep your entire mouth clean and healthy by deliberately including your tongue whenever you brush your teeth.
- It improves your overall health. While it may be true that your oral health will generally benefit from regular brushing of the tongue, it can also benefit you in a bigger manner. When the bacteria build up on your teeth and mouth are not removed, cavities, gum diseases, and other health problems may arise. research shows that these bacteria can find their way to get through the veins and infect your body’s heart and lungs.
- Brushing your tongue can save you from bad breath. The bacteria build-up can certainly cause a foul odor that’s when left neglected, might get worse. If you are already suffering from this condition, tongue scrapers can help you more effectively.
Risks of Not Brushing Your Tongue
We were all taught since childhood that our dental health is important. Our parents would often scare us with unrealistic scenarios just to get us to brush our teeth every day. True enough, poor oral health proposes many threats that can put our overall health at risk.
Clean your tongue daily to avoid these things from happening:
- Halitosis. This is the condition where your mouth releases a foul odor due to bacteria build-up.
- Gum disease. The bacteria in your tongue can spread to the teeth and gum and eventually cause gum disease.
- Tooth loss. Once the bacteria find their pathway to your gums up to your teeth, your gums will weaken and become unable to provide support for your teeth, hence, resulting in the loss of a tooth.
- Abnormal taste sensation. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you can’t fully identify the actual taste of the food you are eating, that’s probably because your tongue is infested with bacteria, dirt, and food particles. These components can affect your taste buds and leave you totally confused with how your food tastes.
- Unappealing tongue appearance. Aside from the white patch that you will have on the surface of your tongue, you might also notice dark hairy particles in your tongue. Although this usually happens in severe cases, it can be easily cleaned with regular brushing or scraping.
- Yeast infection. This is commonly known as oral thrust where the bacteria levels in the tongue are significantly high. Medication is recommended in this condition.
- Periodontal disease. The worst possible risk of having a dirty tongue is developing a periodontal disease over time. This is a very serious oral health problem that needs to be addressed by a dentist immediately.
How To Properly Clean Your Tongue
Others opt for a toothbrush when it comes to cleaning their tongue. But most dentists recommend tongue scrapers instead. This is because this oral health product is specifically designed to removed bacteria and particles stuck in the tongue. Tongue scrapers are often available in different variants: plastic, copper, and stainless steel.
Here’s how you can perform tongue cleaning properly with the use of a scraper:
- Face a mirror, open your mouth, and stick out your tongue.
- Set the round side of the scraper at the back of the tongue.
- If you are sensitive and gags easily, you may begin cleaning from the center of your tongue. Once you’re used to the process, you can adjust where you want to start scraping.
- Once set, slowly scrape your tongue by pulling the scraper towards the tip of your tongue. Always remember to work your way from the inside up to tip, not the other way around.
- Clean the scraper by using a clean cloth or tissue paper, you can also wash it by using running water.
- Scrape the top part of your tongue until it’s clean and particle-free. Most of the time, one to two scrapes per section is enough.
- After the procedure, clean your scraper with water and soap, dry the tool before storing it in a clean area.
Do this twice every day to keep your entire mouth healthy and clean. Visit this link to learn more about proper oral hygiene.
Other Concerns About Brushing The Tongue
Tongue brushing seems like an easy process to add to your oral health care regimen but some people feel some discomfort in doing it. Gagging, for example, is one of the most common concerns as it can lead an individual to throw up while brushing their tongue. You can avoid this by placing the scraper or brush at the center of your tongue and gradually moving it a little further inside once you’re comfortable enough.
It is also possible that you may cut your tongue with the scraper, most especially if it’s brand new or too old to use. Make sure to check your scraper before using it. Additionally, check the lifespan of your newly bought scraper and replace it as needed.
To avoid cuts and wounds, be mindful of how intense you brush or scrape your tongue. Always be gentle in doing so and make sure to clean it thoroughly.