The tongue has the most amount of bacteria as compared to the other parts of your mouth. However, most people do not take the time to clean their tongue. Cleaning your tongue will help you avoid tooth decay, bad breath, and much more.
Why Is It Important to Clean Your Tongue Regularly?
Over time, dead cells, bacteria, and debris can build up on your tongue and cause bad breath. Keeping your tongue clean is important, as it:
1. Improves the Appearance of Your Tongue
When there is a build up of excess debris, your tongue might start having a white appearance. When you clean it daily, this coating can be removed.
2. Improves Your Taste
Cleaning your tongue can improve your sense of taste. Your tongue will be able to distinguish different sensations better.
3. Removes Bacteria
Cleaning your tongue every day reduces the mutans streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria which are known for causing dental decay and bad breath.
4. Reduces Bad Breath
Effective tongue-scraping can remove odour-causing bacteria.
5. Improves Overall Health
Removing bacteria can help prevent gum disease, cavities, and other conditions of the mouth.
What Do You Need to Clean Your Tongue?
There are many different types of tools to choose from to clean your tongue. The most common tool people use is tongue-scrapers. Many also use tongue brushes though they are relatively new. Tongue cleaners are tools that have small ridges and this help to pull it across your tongue. Scraper-brush combinations are also available. Using this tool, you scrape while you brush. Tongue brushing and scraping are equally effective to prevent the chances of plaque. After cleaning, you could rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
How Can You Clean Your Tongue the Right Way?
Tongue cleaning is very easy when you do it the right way.
1. Cleaning Tongue Using a Brush
- After brushing properly, turn your attention to your tongue. You can simply use the bristles of the toothbrush to clean your tongue.
- You could also use toothbrushes that have tongue cleaners on the lower surface.
- The bacteria- and odour-build up can be removed by dabbing your toothbrush and carefully brushing the tongue on the top.
- Start from cleaning the back of your tongue and work forward towards the beginning of the mouth.
- Brush the top area of the tongue entirely on soft pressure and finish the process off by rinsing with some mouthwash or water.
2. Cleaning Your Tongue Using a Scraper
- After brushing, stick your tongue out. Place the rounded end of the scraper gently at the back of the tongue.
- If you find gagging to be a problem, then you can start in the middle of the tongue.
- Start from the back gradually as you get used to this habit.
- Place the scraper gently on the tongue and slowly pull it forward in the direction to the tip of the tongue. Always go from the back to the tip and never do it the other way around.
- After scraping, use a tissue or a washcloth to remove the debris collected on the scraper.
- Repeat this process until the entire tongue surface is scraped. Usually, scraping once or twice in an area is sufficient.
- Wash the cleaner with some soap and water, dry, and store it in a clean area.
Natural Remedies to Clean and Disinfect Your Tongue
Here is how you can clean your tongue naturally. These home remedies to clean your tongue are very simple:
We know garlic is the reason for bad breath and think that they do not cleanse the mouth. Regardless of these previous beliefs, garlic, when eaten raw, can fight and destroy the bacteria on the tongue, thus keeping it clean.
Another good way to clean your tongue is by using salt. Abrasive particles of salt will help remove dead cells and bad bacteria present on the tongue. All you have to do is put a little salt on the tongue and gently brush it around with the help of your toothbrush for a minute or two.
Turmeric is not only something we use as a spice, but it can also make an amazing substitute for antiseptic drugs that you can use for your mouth. Combine some lemon juice and turmeric until the consistency is very pasty. Put this turmeric paste on the tongue for about 2 minutes and then rinse your mouth properly with some lukewarm water.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. You can put 1 tbsp of this juice in your mouth to kill the bacteria and germs on the tongue or the gums. Swish the juice for a few minutes and wash your mouth. Using warm water, rinse your mouth.
Some herbs like mint, chamomile, and sage are known for their unique medicinal properties. Take 1 tbsp of chamomile, 1 tsp of sage, and 1 tsp of mint. Add a small amount of oak bark to this mixture of herbs and fill it with around 4 cups of very hot water. Keep this water aside and wait for it to cool and then strain the water. Then put a tablespoon of salt into this water. All you have to do now is swish this water in your mouth twice a day right after you are done brushing.
Apart from these methods, cleaning your tongue with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can also be done.
Here are some things about tongue-cleaning that you should know.
1. How Many Times Should I Clean My Tongue?
Cleaning your tongue should be done every day so that you can consistently maintain your oral health. Bacteria builds up in your mouth soon after brushing, so regular brushing and flossing is a very important step to fight off oral health issues.
2. Is Tongue Scraping Safe?
One of the biggest concerns is gagging when scraping the tongue. To avoid this, you could scrape from the middle of the tongue. You could also accidentally cut the tongue with the scraper. To prevent injury, make sure the scraper does not have any uneven edges and make sure the scraper is safe to use.
3. Is It Better to Brush or Scrape the Tongue?
Using a scraper is better than a brush since brushes are more likely to cause gagging. Scrapers also allow you to start cleaning from the back of the tongue without touching the sensitive roof of the mouth.
4. What To Do If I Get Hurt while Cleaning My Tongue?
If you feel any discomfort or hurt yourself, then hold off scraping for a day or two and then try a gentler approach.
Tongue cleaning is a very simple process. When you pay attention to your oral hygiene, the number of bacteria present in your mouth is reduced. It is important that you clean your tongue and teeth every day. You should also see a dentist for regular cleaning and checkups.