Your tongue is a prominent and important feature in your mouth and is an important factor in your ability to speak and eat. Without your tongue, there is an entire range of sounds it would be impossible to make, chewing food would become much more difficult, and even swallowing would be nearly impossible. All of this without considering the role it plays in your ability to truly savor the full flavor of food. It should bring no surprise then that it can also play a critical role in your oral health, and can even serve to indicate when there’s a problem. Keep reading to learn more about the unexpected importance of your tongue in oral health.
A Clean Tongue Is a Happy Tongue
Like anywhere else in your mouth, your tongue can serve as a platform for bacterial growth. Plaque and tartar can accumulate on your tongue as readily as anywhere else in your mouth. As a result, it can also be a vector for dental decay, cause infections, and any number of other issues related to bacterial growth. The surface of your tongue is covered in countless little bumps known as papillae, specifically designed to capture bacteria, dead skin, and food debris. While they play an important role in oral health, they need to be cleaned off regularly, or they’ll actually promote the growth of bacteria instead of impeding it. This can lead to all the above problems and, unsurprisingly, halitosis.
How To Clean Your Tongue Thoroughly
In order to avoid this, your tongue will need to be cleaned as regularly as the rest of your mouth. There are two well-known methods used to clean your tongue, and each has its own benefits. Learn about these two practices and then decide which one to add to your dental health practices each day.
- Brushing: Most people prefer this method as it’s a natural extension of their typical brushing practices. Once you finish taking care of your teeth, you can use the remaining toothpaste to address the bacteria and debris on your tongue. Simply clean the roof of your mouth, your cheeks, and finally, your tongue for a thorough clean.
- Scraper: In the event that you find brushing your tongue unpleasant, a scraper is available specifically designed to clean your tongue. These scrapers are effective at removing bacteria, mucus, and food particles. Once you’re all done, just take a moment to rinse off the scraper. You can go over this process as many times as you like until you’re satisfied with the results.
Have more questions to ask about your oral health, or just need to schedule your next dental visit? Pick up the phone and give Glow Dental NYC a call. You’ll connect with our friendly office staff and arrange an appointment with Dr. Alina Huang at our offices in beautiful downtown New York, NY. Our mouths are complex structures, and maintaining oral health requires a full understanding of everything they contain. We love educating our patients on all the things needed to protect the beauty and health of their teeth, so call us today!