Throw in regular dental check-ups and you’ll think that you’re the poster boy for oral hygiene. What if I tell you that you’re forgetting something? Crazy, right? Nope, because you’re forgetting your tongue. You taste with it, you lick with it, and when temptation arises, you even wag it. Don’t you think it’s high time to start cleaning it? After all, I’m sure you don’t want to sport a white, abnormal-looking tongue.
An oft-neglected part of oral hygiene, tongues are not flat and smooth even if they appear that way to you. They have fissures which make for suitable anaerobic bacteria breeding places. This bacteria is the major source of stink breaths. Plus, you won’t be able to remove the viscous, jelly-like film of plaque covering your tongue through rinsing. What you must do is to scrape it. Scared? Don’t be; because cleaning your tongue takes no effort. You could do it in as little as a 1-2 minutes.
Before you do that, read up to avoid scrubbing your tongue raw. First, you don’t have to buy special tongue cleaners since your regular toothbrush will do. However, tongue cleaners are easier to maneuver. Use a bit of toothpaste for added bacteria-fighting power. Secondly, hard scraping is not needed. When your toothbrush or tongue cleaner makes contact with your tongue, it’s okay. Third, use short, slow strokes. Also, make sure that no space is left unclean. Try to move your brush from the back towards the front. Also, relax your mouth after a few seconds with a gargle to avoid locked jaws and gagging. Fourth, pay close attention to the back of the tongue, more bacteria are there than up front. After you’ve scrape all tongue surface area, rinse, and apply a second coat of toothpaste. Leave the paste on for at least a minute. It is ideal to let the paste on until you finish brushing your teeth. After your last gargle, give yourself a smile and vow to add tongue cleaning as part of your oral hygiene.
But of course, don’t get any ideas that tongue cleaning can stop stink breaths alone. Be reminded that you still have to clean your teeth and gums. Dental check-ups are still a must. After all, only your dentist would ask about your oral hygiene and praise your clean, healthy tongue.