Oral Health and Hygiene

Tips for Better Oral Health and Hygiene

You may be brushing your teeth twice a day, as well as flossing, thinking that is all there is to oral hygiene. However, you would be missing out on cleaning another critical component of your oral health: your tongue. Unless you know how to properly clean your tongue, you may be stuck with lingering bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis.

After you are done brushing and flossing your teeth, move over to the cleaning of your tongue. Here are some tips on how to do this effectively and ensure your breath is fresh and clean.

How to Clean Your Tongue

There are two main ways you can clean your tongue. You can either use a toothbrush or a special tongue cleaner. Since your tongue is a haven for bacteria, which form because of food particles getting trapped under a layer of mucus, it ends up causing odor to emit out of your mouth.

Using a Toothbrush

Here is how you can use a toothbrush to get rid of odor-causing bacteria on your tongue.

  • Take a little bit of toothpaste and place it on your toothbrush.
  • Go to the back of your tongue and work your way up to the front, brushing gently.
  • Rinse your mouth with water.

That’s all there is to it! Make sure to clean as much of your tongue as you can, to get all of the bacteria out.

Using a Tongue Scraper

When you want to get an even more thorough cleaning of your tongue, invest in a tongue scraper. Ideally, this will be made from stainless steel. You can also get them made out of copper and plastic. A tongue scraper will gently peel the layer of mucus off of your tongue, along with any other debris.

  • Hold both ends of the tongue scraper, one hand on each side.
  • Use the middle part of the tongue scraper to gently go from the back of your tongue to the front.
  • Repeat this motion as many times as you need, rinsing out your mouth when done.

After each time that you scrape your tongue with this tool, rinse it off with warm water and repeat the process, until your tongue is pink and clean.

Things to Consider

If you at any point notice that your tongue feels sore or starts bleeding, you are being too forceful with your toothbrush or tongue scraper. Stay mindful to only use light pressure and go slowly. Your tongue is a sensitive part of your body, so be gentle with it.

Also, focus your efforts on the center of your tongue. This is where most of that odor-causing bacteria is living.

You should be cleaning your tongue as part of your daily brushing and flossing routine. You should be cleaning it at least twice a day: once in the morning and once before going to bed.

You should also clean your tongue whenever, during the course of the day, you feel your mouth is dry or there is an unpleasant taste in your mouth sometime during the day. That could be the bacteria living on your tongue.

Wrapping Up

Cleaning your tongue should be an essential component of your oral hygiene. Bacteria will not only find a home on and in between your teeth, but also on your tongue. Now that you know how to clean your tongue, you should start making it a daily habit. If you want to go the extra mile, invest in a tongue cleaner to keep that tongue healthy and odor-free.