Should I Brush My Tongue?

February 22, 2023 - Digital Resource Blogger

Why do we brush our teeth in the first place? This eliminates the plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. In light of this, a Santa Clara dentist said that it is essential to brush your tongue to get rid of all the bacteria and germs in your mouth. Without brushing your tongue, you are ignoring a significant area where many bacteria accumulate and eventually cause problems in your mouth. It could also compromise your dental health and lead to halitosis.  

man brushing his teeth after visiting a Santa Clara dentist

Importance of Brushing Your Tongue

Why Is It Important?

Your teeth and tongue serve as a haven for microorganisms. On the tongue, bacteria can be found, which will cause bad breath. To remove the bacteria in your mouth, you only accomplish half the work if you brush your teeth.   

Your tongue comes into contact with all the food and beverages you consume. Moreover, you will notice that it frequently has the colors of the food you’ve eaten on it while you’re eating or right after. Bacteria collect around the tongue’s structural elements and this is because of the leftover food particles. Even though you can’t see them, your tongue is covered in bumps and tiny craters aside from your taste buds.   

The food we eat and the microorganisms left behind land in these nooks, bumps, and taste buds. Because of this, clearing the bacteria from these areas is essential; simply rinsing the mouth won’t do the trick.   

Biofilm is seen in the tongue coating, and this is made up of small, bacterial-containing microorganisms. It takes work to physically eliminate the germs using a brush to remove the biofilm. Mouthwash swishing will only eliminate the surface bacteria, which are the biofilm’s outer cells.   

Rinsing may temporarily stop bad breath, but removing deeper biofilm cells is necessary for longer periods. This will also help fight against tooth decay, which is brought on by bacteria that live in the mouth for a long time because it hasn’t been eliminated from the tongue’s surface. The only way to completely remove the bacteria from the tongue is to brush it.  

child smiling after visiting a santa clara dentist

How to Clean Your Tongue

Cleaning the microorganisms from your tongue is not a big problem. Only a few seconds are added to your daily routine to brush your teeth and tongue, but the benefits are substantial.  

Never forget to brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth, which should be at least twice a day. Softly brush your tongue starting from the area near your tonsils. Then use the toothbrush to move back and forth and side to side across your tongue before finishing your brushing regimen.   

Perhaps some people who worry about gagging find brushing their tongues a little unsettling. This is easily avoided by keeping the toothbrush as close to the front of your mouth as possible without making it uncomfortable.   

People who frequently gag may want to try lightly panting while brushing as a preventative measure. Wait until after you’ve completed cleaning your teeth and after your mouth has been thoroughly rinsed with toothpaste.   

Does Using a Tongue Scraper Work?

It’s okay if you use a tongue scraper instead of a toothbrush. Be mindful, though, that there is no proof that tongue scrapers can prevent bad breath. According to the American Dental Association, using a toothbrush to brush your tongue will remove bacteria from the biofilm formed on it and help you breathe more freshly.  

dental tools of a Santa Clara dentist

Are You in Need of a Santa Clara Dentist?  

New patients are always welcome at Dr. Jayne Dentistry. Contact us to make an appointment to enhance your oral health.