When you think about your oral health, you most likely think of brushing and flossing your teeth and gums. While important, other steps are essential for maintaining a healthy smile. An estimated 20 million bacteria may be lingering inside your mouth at any given moment, and many of these bacteria is resting on your tongue. It may be out of sight, but your tongue and its underlying health should never be out of your mind. This guide will teach you the importance of maintaining a healthy tongue to protect your oral health.
All in the Family
One of the most important things you need to remember is that your tongue, teeth, and gum tissue are all part of a large family known as your mouth. Even though the majority of food residue and bacteria may be located on your tongue, it will eventually make its way to your teeth and gum tissue.
The food residue and bacteria will build up on the teeth and gums over time, creating a thick layer of plaque and tartar that is difficult to remove. In addition, this plaque increases the risk of cavities, decay, and gum disease.
Unfortunately, the various dental dangers are not the only issues you will need to face if you do not clean and maintain your tongue.
Food residue and bacteria on the tongue is a common cause of halitosis, or chronic bad breath. If you have a bitter taste in your mouth, or you are constantly being offered a breath mint, you most likely have halitosis.
Tips for Tongue Care
You probably understand how and when to brush and floss your teeth, but you may not realize how to care for your tongue Most dental experts recommend cleaning and inspecting your tongue during your normal oral health routine.
Using a toothbrush to clean your tongue is possible, but the soft bristles are not usually capable of removing food and bacteria from the soft tissue of your tongue.
Each time you brush your teeth, use a tongue scraper tool to clean off the top and sides of your tongue. This tool allows you to gently scrape away food residue and mucus that may contain bacteria from the tongue's surface.
Be sure to move the scraper tool from the back to the front of the tongue, ensuring you remove all food residue and mucous. It is also important to rinse the scraper after each use.
While cleaning your tongue, spend some time inspecting and documenting any changes. Discoloration, such as a bright red tongue, patches or white, or black or brown spots may all be signs of an illness, disease, or infection that requires immediate treatment.
Your teeth and gums may be priorities when it comes to oral hygiene, but focusing on your tongue is also necessary. This guide will help you understand the importance of maintaining a healthy tongue. If you have further questions about improving your oral care routine, consult with a dentist such as John P Poovey DMD PC.Share
18 June 2018
Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!