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Should You Brush Your Tongue?

Updated: Nov 28, 2023




The mouth is home to more than 6 billion bacteria. All the irregular surfaces of the teeth, gums, and tongue are the perfect places where these bacteria can thrive.

Brushing and flossing are great for the teeth and gums, but you also need to brush your tongue if you want to get rid of the bacteria in your mouth..


Why You Should Brush Your Tongue

After eating something sticky or drinking milk, you may have noticed a thin film developing on your tongue. Even if you don’t feel it, this film develops after any meal.

This thin coating can attract bacteria and allow it to multiply and even spread to other parts of the mouth. If you do not brush your tongue, the bacteria will gradually build up and start attacking your tooth enamel, causing decay. In addition, if you do not brush or scrape the tongue, you also risk bad breath as the bacteria is not properly removed.


How to Clean Your Tongue

  • A small amount of toothpaste can be used when cleaning the tongue.

  • Use a tongue cleaner or a scraper every time you brush and floss your teeth. This should then be followed by a rinse with mouthwash for about 20 seconds.

  • Mouthwash alone is not enough to clean your tongue, as it does not completely remove the bacteria hidden between the crevices (uneven surfaces) on the tongue.

  • If you have issues with bad breath, you will notice your breath will begin to feel fresher if you also brush your tongue, as the bacteria will be properly removed.

  • Tongue brushing should be done both from the back of the tongue to the front and sideways. Do not use a hard-bristled brush and avoid applying too much pressure.

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