Today Dr. Goehring in Austin, TX wants to talk about an area of oral hygiene that sometimes falls by the wayside. Oftentimes, people avidly brush and floss, but this is where their dental hygiene regimen ends. And unfortunately, people end up forgetting to take care of another pivotal element of their mouth. The tongue.
The tongue is an interesting muscular organ that plays a lot of roles in our lives. It helps us taste. It helps us talk. There is no other organ in our body that is like it. Unfortunately, it’s also a nasty little thing, and it’s not because of what people can say with it either.
The tongue is teeming with bacteria. Think about it, the tongue isn’t a smooth surface, so there are lots of nooks and crannies that the tiny little bacteria can hide in. If you’ve ever drank coffee or red wine, then you especially know just how easy the tongue adheres to substances. Even flaming hot Cheetos leave your tongue a bright red hue.
For good dental health, it’s imperative that you clean your tongue. Not only is it good for maintaining dental health, but it also helps to combat bad breath. Bacteria doesn’t smell nice, and as I mentioned earlier the tongue is a lighthouse for bacteria.
How to Clean Your Tongue
Most people rinse their mouth with water or mouthwash to clean their tongues. While rinsing is still a good practice, it won’t work to get rid of all your tongue bacteria. There are a group of microorganisms called a biofilm that live on your tongue. When you rinse you’re only getting rid of the top layer of bacteria, so the bottom layer still thrives.
The best way to clean your tongue is by brushing it. You should brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. There are a lot of methods that work, but the best way is to brush it side to side, back and forth, and then rinse your mouth with water. Your final rinse is important, because it will wash out the bacteria that you loosened up with your brushing.
Some people prefer to use tongue scrapers, which can be purchased at most drug stores. One method has not been proven to be more effective than the other. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, then simply brushing works just as well.
So, if you’ve been suffering from bad breath, remember to clean your tongue. If you do clean your tongue and still suffer from bad breath, then come in for a dental visit, because it might be a larger problem, like tooth decay or an infection.
Give Goehring Dental a call at today at (512) 892-8822, and we’ll get to the bottom of your oral health problems.