A key component of your oral health is the health of your tongue. If you neglect proper care for this organ in your mouth, you could be harboring much more bacteria than you thought. At your regular dental examinations, your tongue will be examined to determine its color and texture as each of these factors play a role in the health of your mouth. If your tongue is a color other than pink or is not smooth to the touch, it could be an indication of a variety of oral or physical health issues that need addressing.
Caring for your Tongue
There are ways that you can ensure the health of your tongue. It does not take a lot of extra work, just a few extra seconds during your normal two minutes of brushing and flossing can have a large impact on your oral health.
- When you brush your tongue, careful attention should be paid to the posterior portion. The tip of your tongue is much less likely to harbor bacteria as it is constantly experiencing friction through normal talking and swallowing, which allow the bacteria to be washed away. The rear of your tongue does not experience the same friction, allowing germs to live back there, putting your oral health at risk.
- Use a toothbrush or scraper to clean your tongue. The item used to clean your tongue is not of importance; it is the technique used that offers the most benefits. Using your brush or scraper, reach back as much as you can without gagging and brush forward. This allows the germs to be removed from your mouth rather than pushed back further, allowing for more oral health issues.
- Use a gentle motion; do not brush too hard. There is no reason to exert unnecessary pressure on the tongue, a light touch with either tool will do the trick, breaking up the bacteria and removing it from your mouth.
- Rinse your mouth. Once you are done with your oral hygiene routine, make sure to rinse your mouth, spitting everything out. This furthers the ability of your mouth to eliminate any remaining germs.
The health of your tongue is very important and should not be ignored. It is recommended that you brush your tongue once a day, but it is a good idea to brush it every time you brush your teeth to ensure optimal oral health as well as good breath.