When discussing oral health, there are a few features of your mouth that prominently come up in conversation. These features include your teeth, your gums, even your jawbone. Despite its dominance of your oral cavity, one of the features you rarely hear discussed is your tongue. Your tongue is a critical part of your oral health and your quality of life. With it, you are able to chew food easily, to speak clearly, even swallow, all things that become incredibly difficult without it. In this article, we’re going to talk about the importance of caring properly for your tongue and the risks of not doing so.
Keep your Oral Health Happy With a Clean Tongue
Bacteria are capable of growing anywhere within your mouth, and your tongue is no exception. Just like in the rest of your mouth, the bacteria responsible for generating plaque and tartar can live happily on your tongue. This means your tongue can be a haven for these bacteria, even when you’ve thoroughly brushed the rest of your mouth. The solution to this is simple, though often overlooked by people when they’re going through their daily oral health routine. If you don’t spend the time to clean your tongue, the rough bumps that cover it can accumulate food debris, dead skin, and bacteria resulting in halitosis and potentially tooth decay.
Clean Your Tongue Thoroughly With These Techniques
Avoiding the above problems is simple enough; you simply have to take the time to clean your tongue as thoroughly as the other structures in your mouth. While mouthwash can help take care of your tongue, its best used as a final rinse rather than a primary care method. Instead, you should make use one of the following two methods for cleaning your tongue:
- Brushing: Your toothbrush can do more than just scrub away plaque and tartar from your teeth; it can also serve as an effective device for cleaning the rough surface of your tongue. The bristles are capable of getting into the nooks and crannies between your papillae, the rough bumps on your tongue, and eliminate bacteria, food particles, and mucus.
- Scraper: Some people find the sensation of brushing their tongue to be uncomfortable or even ticklish. For these people, there is another tool that can be used, the scraper. The tongue scraper is designed to make cleansing the top of your tongue of mucus and debris simple. Simple rinse between each pull and repeat until you feel your tongue is clean. Some people even opt to combine these methods for a truly thorough clean.
Want to learn more about taking care of your oral health? Contact us at Covington Dental to arrange an opportunity to speak to Dr. Gina Covington. Our friendly and welcoming office staff are available to help you prepare for your visit and can guide you in filling out your paperwork before you arrive. Good oral health requires taking care of every portion of your mouth and maintaining regular visits to your dentist. Call us in Hickory, NC, to arrange your next dental visit today!