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The Importance of Tongue Cleaning for Fresh Breath

Posted on 10/31/2023 by Weo Admin
close up of a patient with their tongue stuck out about to clean with a tongue scraperWhile brushing and flossing are vital for oral health, cleaning the tongue is often overlooked. As a major reservoir of bacteria, the tongue can contribute to bad breath. Incorporating gentle tongue cleaning into your routine helps freshen your mouth.

Why the Tongue Causes Bad Breath

The porous surface of the tongue harbors anaerobic bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen. As the population grows, smelly metabolic byproducts like volatile sulfur compounds are released, causing unpleasant breath odor. Mucus, cellular debris, and tiny leftover food particles also accumulate to worsen odors.

Reducing Bacteria Buildup

Gently brushing or scraping the tongue reduces bacterial biofilm, limiting sulfur compound production. Special tongue brushes or scrapers allow gentle tongue surface cleaning, stimulating fresh saliva flow as well.

Be sure to reach the back third of the tongue, where more odor-causing bacteria hide in the deep grooves. Stay hydrated and avoid smoking as well.

When to Clean Your Tongue

Make tongue cleaning part of your regular oral hygiene routine, ideally after eating and before bedtime when your breath is most likely to be bad. Be very gentle at the beginning and introduce slowly if not accustomed. See your dentist if you have any concerns about proper technique or experience pain.

Proper Technique

Hold the tongue brush or scraper toward the back of the tongue and apply light pressure as you gently glide forward before rinsing thoroughly with water. Repeat several times until the tongue appears cleaner. Try to clean your tongue daily.

Tongue Health Significance

Keeping your tongue cleansed of excess bacteria supports overall oral well-being beyond fresher breath. Healthy pink tongue tissue is more resistant to infection and overgrowth of microbes that could lead to disease. Ask your dentist which tongue cleaning tools are right for you.

Make Tongue Cleaning Part of Your Routine

A quick tongue cleaning only takes seconds but can significantly freshen your breath. Along with regular brushing and flossing, keeping your tongue cleaner promotes oral health and lets you confidently smile and speak with fresh breath.

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