Do you Brush you Tongue?
Brushing and flossing are the basic components of lifelong oral care. Both have their respective benefits. Brushing your teeth
- Reduces tarter
- Reduces the buildup of plaque
- Prevents periodontitis
- Prevents gum disease
- Keeps your teeth bright
- Helps you maintain a pretty smile
Flossing dislodges bacteria and old food from between your teeth. Failure to floss on a regular basis could lead to a buildup of harmful bacteria and plaque. This buildup often precedes cavities, gum disease and tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing aren’t the only important components of a well rounded oral care regimen. Your teeth account for 1/20 of the accessible surfaces inside your mouth. Every surface is a breeding ground for the kinds of bacteria and microbes whose unchecked growth leads to
- Chronic bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Tooth decay
Your mouth is one of your body’s most hospitable locations for bacteria. At any given time more than 700 unique strains call your mouth home. Bacteria are aggressive and opportunistic, clinging to every surface and multiplying rapidly.
Your tongue is prime real estate for bacteria. Your tongue’s surface contains papillae, small fleshy grooves. Papillae collect old food particles, dead skin cells and bacteria, forming a whitish biofilm over the tongue.
Beyond the Superficial Causes of Bad Breath
This discoloring biofilm is the source of off-odors. Bacteria residing in the papillae often repopulate your teeth and gums, speeding up the formation of tartar and plaque despite routine brushing. Decay and disease are inevitable outcomes.
Attention to the care, hygiene and health of your tongue improves the overall health of your mouth exponentially. Gargling with mouthwash merely kills surface bacteria of the biofilm. You have to remove the biofilm repeatedly to fully prevent its microbes from flourishing in your mouth.
How to Scrape Your Tongue 101
Brushing and scraping your tongue help remove the biofilm. Scraping is the technique dentists generally prefer, since it tends to cover more surface area and peel away the biofilm without arousing your gag reflex. To use a tongue scraper, gargle as you normally would. After gargling:
- Stick our your tongue as far as you comfortably can.
- Place your scraper at the back of your tongue.
- Slide the scraper over the surface of your tongue from the back of your tongue to the very tip.
- Apply even pressure as you scrape.
- Rinse the scraper between each tour over your tongue. This greatly lowers the possibility of redepositing bacteria back onto your tongue or even swallowing microbes you’ve just scraped away.
- After scraping the whole of your tongue’s surface, rinse and dry the scraper.
Brush your teeth and floss thoroughly. Gargling, scraping, brushing and flossing are a foolproof prescription that improves your breath, sensitizes your taste buds to more nuanced, delicious flavors and promotes lasting oral health.
Bad Breath Could Be a Sign of Serious Dental Issues
If you gargle, scrape your tongue, brush and floss regularly, and you continue to struggle with bad breath and toothaches, meet with your dentist right away. Bad breath and toothaches that persist despite thorough home oral care are often symptoms of a greater, underlying problem.
Bad breath and toothaches are generally symptoms of hidden cavities. Your dentist can pinpoint the location of hidden cavities and recommend tailored treatment to restore your dental health, your fresh breath, your personal comfort and your gorgeous smile.
Call our West Hollywood location today for a free dental consultation. Our experienced, professional staff are eager to provide you with the attention, knowledge and standout care that you and your smile deserve.