We all know why it’s important to keep our teeth clean by brushing and flossing, but what about our tongue? Practicing good oral hygiene is the key to healthy body functions. That doesn’t just mean our teeth; a clean tongue plays a big part in our overall mouth and whole-body health.
How Does a Clean Tongue Help Our Bodies?
2500 years ago, Hippocrates aptly said that “all disease begins in the gut.” Recent research shows that common oral microbes may be causing gut inflammation. This swelling can cause inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and leaky gut.
When the tongue isn’t cleaned regularly, microbes can thrive in your mouth. And, most of the microbes that cause disease live on our tongues. So, keeping a clean tongue and practicing good oral hygiene is essential to staying healthy.
Cleaning your tongue can also help to alleviate bad breath, white tongue, and other oral health conditions.
What is the Best Method to Clean the Tongue?
Studies have found that the most effective way to eliminate tongue bacteria is by using a tongue scraper. These are easy to use and can be found at any local drug store. They come in plastic or metal and are usually bent in half so one edge can be used to scrape.
How to Use a Tongue Scraper:
- Stick out your tongue as far as it goes and press the scraper to the back surface.
- Move the scraper toward the front of your tongue while pressing down firmly. If you feel pain or discomfort, you are most likely pressing too hard.
- Rinse the scraper under warm water to remove debris and bacteria and then spit if necessary.
- Repeat several more times.
- Clean the scraper and store it for the next use. Scrape your tongue one or two times daily.
You can also clean your tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Just run it back and forth along the surface of your tongue. Using a toothbrush typically takes longer than using a tongue scraper.
If your tongue is discolored, try brushing with one-part hydrogen peroxide and five parts water once daily.
The best way to achieve good oral health is by visiting your dentist for regular check-ups. Your dentist will identify any issues with your teeth, gums, and tongue and inform you of the best ways to alleviate the problem.
For more information about oral health and hygiene, contact the experts at Hamburg Cosmetic Dental today.