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Tongue cleaning and oral health

2 months ago

Many people often overlook cleaning the tongue as part of their daily personal dental and oral hygiene. This should not be the case. The tongue is a muscle with a moist, warm environment—qualities that make it very much an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and germs of all kinds. Some types can multiply at the back of your mouth and produce an unpleasant smell like sulphur or something that rots. Regular teeth brushing and flossing does a good job of getting rid of most bacteria. But that’s still not enough. Tongue cleaning washes away most lingering germs before it leads to bad breath and other problems.

According to research, cleaning the surface of the tongue gently with a soft toothbrush or a tongue scraper for thirty seconds twice a day contributes positively to one’s overall oral health. If you haven’t tried this yet, you should start today. First, using a gentle motion, run the scraping section of your toothbrush or tongue scraper across the top surface of the tongue. Repeat this motion for thirty seconds and make sure to cover the entire surface. This action effectively removes most harmful germs and microorganisms on your tongue. As you do this, you’ll notice a white film-like substance build up on the toothbrush or scraper. Continue because this means that the process is working. After scraping your tongue for thirty seconds, simply wash out your mouth with water to remove the film and any remaining bacteria. Note that you should scrape your tongue gently to avoid extreme abrasion on the muscle.

Observing proper oral and dental hygiene without fail every day can help prevent formation of plaque—a soft, sticky film that coats your tooth enamel and is made up of millions of bacteria. If left to build up, it turns into tartar—hardened plaque, which over time, leads to tooth decay and gum disease. To prevent this from happening, make sure to brush and floss your teeth, clean your tongue, plus rinse with a mouth wash twice daily. Antiseptic mouth washes also effectively help in killing bacteria that’s left in the mouth and prevent bad breath. Bad breath is usually a sign of poor and inadequate oral hygiene. If you have bad breath, you might need to improve your dental and oral hygiene routines. Choose an effective fluoride toothpaste that does the job of cleaning your teeth and strengthening it at the same time by binding with the protective layer of enamel.

Note that when brushing, flossing, and cleaning your tongue, you should do it thoroughly but gently as opposed to vigorously. Remember that the inside of the mouth is made up of sensitive tissues. Never brush, floss, or scrape vigorously since rough movements can irritate and even damage these sensitive tissues.

Aside from maintaining your daily personal dental and oral hygiene, it’s a must to visit your dentist at least once every six months, or as required to ensure healthier teeth and gums. A variety of dental treatments are available, which you can get as needed.

Dr Neil Paryani

BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)

Dr Poonam Paryani

BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)

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