Your teeth and gums are not the only things in your mouth that will benefit from regular cleaning and attention in your daily oral hygiene routine. The tongue itself, with all of its rough surfaces can also harbor bacteria. This can lead to halitosis, also known as bad breath. Many people with dentures like to include tongue cleaning in their oral hygiene routine, to help reduce plaque development.
Dr. Nadia Hamouda offers some basic suggestions to help you effectively clean your tongue. The simplest method for cleaning to simply give your tongue a thorough brushing after you have finished brushing your teeth. Try to brush around the sides of the tongue as well as the rough surface of the taste buds. A good rule of thumb is to brush gently for about a minute.
Some people also prefer to use tongue scrapers. While designs might vary a little bit depending on the manufacturer, a tongue scraper is usually a plastic stick with a mildly sharp edge on one end. When using a tongue scraper you want to work from front to back making multiple overlapping sweeps of the tongue. If you notice a buildup of material on the blade edge, you should rinse it off before making the next sweep.
There is no definitive clinical research that proves brushing or tongue scraping is more effective. For most it is simply a matter of personal preference.
If you would like to know more about how to clean your tongue or improve your oral hygiene routine, you can call Dr. Nadia Hamouda at 734-222-0055 to schedule a consultation.