How Often Should You Brush Your Tongue?

If you have a good at-home dental care routine including brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, you may think you’ve done a complete job cleaning your mouth. But there’s one more step you should include in your oral care routine: tongue scraping or brushing.

What is tongue scraping?

Tongue scraping is the process of using a tool to clean debris, bacteria, and dead cells that can accumulate on your tongue. Scrapers can be made of plastic or metal and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some people also use their toothbrush to clean their tongue.

Is a white tongue bad?

Your tongue may have a white, coated appearance if you have a buildup of excess debris. If this occurs, you should scrape your tongue daily to remove the white coating and to keep it from returning.

Why should you clean your tongue?

Bacteria, debris, and dead cells can easily build up between on your tongue between your taste buds. Your tongue isn’t smooth but instead is covered with crevices and elevations that trap particles.

Even if you brush your teeth well, you could be leaving bacteria and other particles on your tongue if you’re not scraping or brushing it. Using mouthwash or rinsing your mouth with water isn’t very effective either since it removes only the outer cells of debris.

If the debris is allowed to accumulate and remain on your tongue, it could cause bad breath or dental issues.

How should you clean your tongue?

Use a tongue scraper or toothbrush on your tongue, putting it in the middle of the tongue and scraping to the tip. As you get more comfortable with the process and are sure you won’t gag, you can move the scraper further to the back of your tongue.

What are the advantages of tongue cleaning? 

Tongue cleaning is a quick and easy step to make a part of your at-home oral care routine. It helps remove bacteria from your tongue, which can cause bad breath and tooth damage. 

Should you scrape your tongue before or after brushing? 

You should scrape your tongue once a day, and most experts recommend that you do it after brushing either in the morning or evening.

Does brushing your tongue help bad breath?

Brushing your tongue can often help with bad breath, since it may be caused by bacteria on your tongue. If brushing or scraping your tongue doesn’t help, see your dentist, since bad breath can also be caused by issues that can require treatment, such as tooth decay.

What are the side effects of cleaning tongue?

If you clean your tongue gently and with a tool that’s in good shape, you shouldn’t have any side effects. Make sure not to do it too roughly to avoid irritating or cutting your tongue.

How many times should you brush your tongue?

You should brush your tongue once a day.

When should you see a dentist? 

You should see your dentist for a regular cleaning and checkup about every six months, or more often as needed. If you have bad breath that isn’t helped by scraping your tongue, you should see your dentist.

For all of your dentistry needs, make an appointment today with Cedar Mountain Dental in Newington, CT. We offer convenient office hours and create an exceptional, personalized experience for each patient.