While brushing and flossing is definitely emphasized every time you visit the dentist, there’s another important area that’s not touched upon as often. According to the ADA, about half of the adult population of the US have chronic halitosis, or chronic bad breath. Studies have shown that 80-90 percent of bad breath comes from bacteria on the tongue, because it’s the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and spread. In order to thoroughly clean your mouth of this bacteria and take care of the odors that they produce, a regular tongue cleaning should do the trick. Here are some tips from DC Dental on keeping your tongue fresh and clean of bacteria.
Step 1: Swish warm water. This helps loosen up the film on your tongue, which makes it easier to scrape off. Just make sure to spit the water out afterwards.
Step 2: Clean the top layer. With a completely dry scraper, start scraping off the top layer of gunk or film coating your tongue. Start as far back as you can go without gagging, and with slow, sweeping strokes, scrape your tongue from back to front. Work from one side to the other, and make sure to scrape your tongue completely.
Step 3: Apply toothpaste. A good oxygenating toothpaste will help to speed up the cleaning, so squirt a bit of it onto the head of your cleaner
Step 4: Swish some Mouthwash around. This is an optional step, but if you have mouthwash handy, might as well give it a swirl.
Step 5: Clean again. Coat your tongue with the toothpaste and let it sit for 90 seconds without swallowing. Once 90 seconds have passed, scrape the toothpaste from your tongue with the same smooth strokes until your tongue is clean.
Other tips for keeping your tongue free of bacteria include drinking green tea, which naturally kills the germs on your tongue and drinking plenty of water, which is great for your mouth and your overall health, especially during the Arizona summer. While a clean tongue goes a long way in freshening your breath, brushing and flossing every day and seeing your Phoenix area dentist regularly will help make sure your entire mouth is healthy!