Readers ask, we answer: Should I clean my tongue?

Everyone knows they should brush their teeth, but there isn’t a common opinion on cleaning your tongue. Should it be a part of our daily oral health routine? Let’s find out.

What are the benefits of cleaning your tongue?

  • Refreshed sense of taste. A clean tongue will help improve the taste of your favorite foods.
  • Fresher breath. Removing potential odor-causing bacteria from your tongue can reduce bad breath.
  • Better oral health. A clean mouth reduces your likelihood of cavities and gum disease.

What tools should you use?

Both a toothbrush and tongue scraper can get the job done, but a tongue scraper more effectively removes the bacteria from the bumps on your tongue.

Tongue scraper are easy to come by – you can find them at most stores that sell toothpaste and floss. The scraper should not be sharp or made of metal. Instead, pick a softer plastic option with no sharp edges. If you don’t have a tongue scraper, simply use your toothbrush. You’ll still see more benefits to your oral health than if you don’t clean your tongue at all. 

What is the best technique for tongue cleaning?

It’s very easy to add tongue scraping to your daily routine. Just follow these simple steps after you brush your teeth:

  • Stick out your tongue.
  • Start at the back of the tongue and scrape or brush toward the front using light pressure.
  • Rinse off your tongue scraper or toothbrush.
  • Scrape or brush a second time.
  • Rinse your tongue scraper or toothbrush again.

If you experience pain, try to use less pressure or consult your dentist.

Cleaning your tongue as part of your oral health routine can help you enjoy the benefits of fresher breath, reduced bacteria, and improved taste. Give it a try, and if you like the way it makes your mouth feel, keep it up.