Your mouth is one of the places most prone to bacteria because it’s dark, warm and wet, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to live and feed off of leftover food particles. In fact, there are billions of bacteria living in your mouth right now on your teeth and tongue. This is why we provide the main reasons to brush your tongue and its importance, because reducing the amount of bacteria that lives in your mouth will help you to achieve oral health.
Why should you brush your tongue?
Reasons to brush your tongue:
- The majority of the bacteria in your mouth lives and breeds on your tongue’s rough surface. Although brushing your teeth eliminates bacteria sticking to your teeth, the bacteria on your brush is transferred to your teeth with your saliva in just a few hours.
- It prevents bad breath.
How to brush your tongue?
Colgate recommends starting at the back of your tongue working your way towards the opening of your mouth, gently brushing the entire top surface with a complete rinse of water. As an alternative/or for a more thorough cleaning, use a tongue scraper. Sold at most drugstores, this is usually made of soft, flexible plastic and gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from the tongue. Don’t scrape too hard as this may break your tongue’s surface and will cause it to bleed.
Here are five reasons why brushing your tongue is important for your overall oral health:
- It removes harmful odour-causing build-up. The human tongue is a large organ that acts as a hosts most for most of the bacteria. Brushing your tongue on a regular basis means you can effectively eliminate odour-causing germs that accumulate on the tongue and cause halitosis.
- It reduces the risk of periodontal disease. Bacteria buildup on your tongue can lead to gum disease and other illnesses that spread throughout the body. If it’s not treated, the inflammation can advance to periodontal disease (when your gums become infected due to deep pockets between your teeth and gums).
- It enhances taste. By brushing your tongue and removing the build-up of plaque will remove dull taste buds and you’ll be able really taste and enjoy your food.
- It reduces your risk of oral thrush. Oral thrush is an infection caused most commonly by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. When the bacteria levels in your mouth build up in excessive amounts, white patches will appear on your tongue. An antifungal medication can cure it, and regular tongue brushing should keep it from returning.
- It boosts your immunity levels and digestive health. The tongue is part of the first line of defence in your immune system. Scraping or brushing your tongue prevents toxins from being absorbed into your body which in turn will boost your overall immune function.
If you’re not brushing your tongue on a regular basis, remember, this is a very important part of your oral regime and a very easy addition. If you’re curious about how to improve your dental health, visit one of our locations to speak to one of our hygienists.