What is the entire point of brushing your teeth? To remove the plaque and bacteria that causes gum disease and tooth decay, right? Keeping this in mind, brushing your tongue is critical in removing all of the bacteria and germs from your mouth. If you do not brush your tongue, you are skipping a large area where many bacteria gather in colonies, and eventually cause trouble in your mouth. In addition to causing oral health problems, if you do not brush your tongue, you may start suffering from halitosis (bad breath).
We are sure you have heard of taste buds before. But, did you know that your taste buds, also known as papillae, offer germs and bacteria an excellent place to gather? If you do not specifically concentrate on brushing your tongue, bacteria and germs will shelter in your papillae and remain in your mouth. These germs and bacteria can then lead to cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
By concentrating on also brushing your tongue, you will ensure that you are maximizing the bacteria and germs that are being removed from your mouth while brushing. Additionally, if you suffer from frequent bad breath, this may resolve this issue as well. Depending on your dentist, they may also recommend using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue in an even better manner.
So, to answer a question we hear often: “Do I need to brush my tongue?” Yes, you should absolutely brush your tongue if you are serious about your oral health.
Below, Dr. Levine offers some additional tips to improve your brushing:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush away from your gum line
- Do not brush with too much force, or with a brush with bristles that are stiff
- Gently brush all visible parts of your teeth (the inside, outside, and chewing surface)
- Lightly brush your gums to remove bacteria and germs
- Don’t forget your tongue