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Do You Need to Brush Your Tongue?

Do You Brush Your Tongue?

We all know the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth, but did you know it is also important to brush your tongue? Why is brushing and flossing in between your regular dental cleanings so necessary?

Why You Should Brush and Floss Your Teeth

Brushing

It is imperative to always brush your teeth after each meal and even after every drink you have other than water throughout each day, as well as when you wake up in the morning. As the day progresses and you consume food and drink, especially those high in sugar or carbohydrates, your mouth begins to create bacteria. This bacteria latches itself onto your teeth.
If you do not brush after a meal, the bacteria begins to eat away at your tooth enamel. When this occurs, plaque begins to form. Plaque is a sticky substance that, if not brushed away, will begin to cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Brushing your teeth after you drink anything with sugar or something that is acidic such as coffee or juice is important as well. Not only do these types of drinks encourage the bacteria in your mouth to grow, but many also have phosphoric acid. This type of acid can erode your teeth.
Tooth erosion causes sensitivity that can become extremely painful as well as discoloration and cracks in your teeth. If you find you cannot brush after consuming food or drink, it is still beneficial to rinse your mouth out with water and brush as soon as you are able to. Another alternative if you cannot brush your teeth after eating or drinking something acidic or sugary is to make sure you only snack on nutritious foods that are low in sugar and carbs.

Flossing

True, brushing removes a lot of bacteria and plaque. However, even with an electric toothbrush, you will not be able to get the bacteria out of the spaces between your teeth. This is where floss comes in.
If you do not floss at least once per day, bacteria will build up and start to cause decay in between your teeth. Flossing also removes chunks of buildup and food between your teeth. Cavities, bad breath (halitosis), bone loss and gum recession are all caused by decay, so brushing and flossing daily is imperative to your health.

Why You Should Brush Your Tongue

You should brush your tongue every time you brush and floss your teeth. This not only helps fight bad breath (halitosis) and kill bacteria that is lingering on your tongue. It is best to clean your tongue in the morning and before bed. Add a mouth rinse to aid you in cleaning your tongue, which helps eliminate bacteria and freshens your breath even more.
The best ways to clean your tongue are by using a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

Toothbrush

After you are done brushing your teeth, gently rub the bristles of your toothbrush over your tongue in small circles. Start at the back of your tongue and work your way forward until you have covered the entire surface.

Tongue Scraper

A tongue scraper is a long piece of thin plastic. Some wider on the ends so you are able to grip it while using the tongue scraper. Others are circular and have a long handle to hold onto. To use it, again start at the back of your tongue and press down. Pull the tongue scraper forward until you reach the tip. Continue this until you have covered the entire surface of your tongue. This will remove white residue, which you should rinse off of your scraper. Make sure you clean your scraper after each use.

Brushing and Flossing are both critical for a clean mouth, including your tongue

So now you know how important it is to not only brush and floss your teeth, but to brush your tongue as well, morning and night! If you have any questions about oral health care, be sure to ask your dentist at your next visit, or call our office. Happy brushing!
 

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