How to clean your tongue

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We all know how important it is to look after our teeth, but for a number of reasons dentists also think it’s important to clean your tongue too. Like teeth, tongues are a target for bacteria, so it’s important to keep tongues clean every day.

John D. Kling, DDS, told Healthline: “Bacteria will accumulate greatly in the areas of the tongue between the taste buds and other tongue structures.

“It’s not smooth. There are crevices and elevations all over the tongue, and the bacteria will hide in these areas unless it is removed.”

Bacteria on the tongue can cause bad breath and even tooth damage.

So it’s important to keep on top of our tongue health to prevent any problems in the future.

How do you clean your tongue?

You don’t need any specialist equipment to brush your tongue – all you need is a toothbrush.

Toothpaste brand Colgate explains on their website how people can clean their tongues with their toothbrush.

Just add a small amount of toothpaste to the brush and start at the back of your tongue.

Brush forwards using “gentle but firm pressure in back-and-forth motions”.

Alternatively, people might consider using a tongue scraper.

Just start at the back of the tongue and move it forward to the front of the tongue several times and at different angles.

Rinse your mouth with water after use and give the tongue cleaner a clean too.

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Colgate adds: “After cleaning your tongue, whether with a toothbrush or scraper, use a mouth rinse.

“Then, clean the scraper or toothbrush with water.

“How do you check your tongue cleaning technique? You’ll know when you’re done cleaning your tongue because all that discoloured debris disappears, leaving your tongue clean, pink, and refreshed.

“If you’re still unsure on the effectiveness of your technique, check with your dental hygienist for tips and a demonstration.”

Whichever method you choose, don’t overbrush your tongue as this can cause problems like bleeding.

In addition to keeping tongues and teeth clean, some like to use a mouthwash too for good oral health.

Dentists also recommend regular flossing to keep those pearly whites pearly and regular dental check-ups.

The NHS says any cases of bad breath which don’t go away after treating it for a few weeks should be seen by a dentist.

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