Brushing Your Tongue – Are There Oral Hygiene Benefits?

Brushing Your Tongue - Are There Oral Hygiene Benefits
When it comes to preventative dental care, engaging in good daily oral hygiene practices is essential in keeping your mouth healthy. You know the basics—teeth brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. But you may have heard people talking about tongue scraping or brushing and are wondering if it is worth your time.

In general, brushing your tongue may make you feel refreshed but doesn’t have any verifiable benefits beyond that. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t scrape your tongue, especially if it helps you stay committed to a good oral hygiene routine.

Should You Be Brushing Your Tongue

There are three main reasons why people brush or scrape their tongues:

  • Reduce halitosis (bad breath)
  • Increase the ability to taste things
  • Decrease the number of bacteria

The problem is, there is little to no scientific evidence to back up these tongue scraping claims. Without measurable effects, it can be hard to say that tongue scraping does anything other than add another step to your oral hygiene routine.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should stop brushing your tongue. Some people simply enjoy the fresh feeling after they have cleaned their entire mouth. If that’s what you enjoy about brushing your tongue, then you should feel free to continue.

How To Scrape Your Tongue

If you are still interested in cleaning your tongue, our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental recommend you do it as part of your regular oral hygiene routine. That way, if there are any undiscovered benefits to tongue scraping, you can enjoy them with the proven benefits of teeth brushing and flossing.

After you have finished with your brushing and flossing, you can use a tongue scraper to wrap up your routine, following these steps.

  • Open your mouth and place the scraper as far back on your tongue as you are comfortable. You may need to go slowly your first few times to avoid engaging your gag reflex.
  • With gently applied pressure on the tongue scraper, pull it forward until you reach the tip of your tongue. There should be no pain or discomfort associated with this motion.
  • Rinse off the tongue scraper after each pass using warm water, and repeat the scraping motion until the entire tongue has been scraped.
  • Once you are done scraping, rinse your mouth with mouthwash to seal in that fresh feeling.

Don’t Forget The Rest Of The Mouth

As you use a tongue scraper or brush your tongue, be sure not to neglect any other part of your oral hygiene routine, including going to your biannual cleaning appointments. By sticking to a healthy routine, you can reduce halitosis, protect yourself from gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues that arise from poor oral hygiene.

To set up your biannual dental cleaning appointment to ensure that your oral health stays in top condition, feel free to contact us to schedule your cleaning! We look forward to helping you achieve the healthiest smile possible!

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