Montefiore

Why is it so important to brush my tongue?

By henley.tabal
December 15, 2021

Woman Looking In Mirror Cleaning Her TongueTaking good care of the smile is important. Many patients associate at-home care with brushing and flossing the teeth. But did you know that you also need to brush your tongue? The team at Montefiore Medical Center are here to help patients understand the benefits of brushing the tongue to remove bacteria that can contribute to bad breath.

Why should I brush my tongue?

The tongue has many bacteria-covered spots. In addition to the taste buds, elevations and crevices in the tongue make it easier for bacteria to hide and grow unless removed manually by the patient. This is why patients need to take extra care in brushing their tongue when they brush their teeth!

Why is this important?

In addition to removing bacteria, brushing the tongue is important because:

  • It allows for the prevention of periodontal disease and tooth decay, which can cause potential problems including the loss of gum tissue, bone, and teeth.
  • It improves breath. The bacteria on the tongue can lead to chronic bad breath, or “halitosis.” Brushing the tongue each day can help in removing harmful bacteria and improving breath.
  • It avoids darkening of the tone. The tongue has tiny bumps called papillae that can become stained when patients consume certain foods and drinks including soda, coffee, and red wine.
  • It cannot be removed with mouthwashes alone. While mouthwash can be a great addition to one’s oral health, it will not remove the bacteria that reside in the crevices of the tongue.

Do I need a tongue scraper?

Some patients who have problems with bad breath and other issues with the tongue may find that the addition of a tongue scraper in their oral health routine is a smart idea. This manually removes bacteria by removing the mucous layer on the tongue and can be found in drugstores.

Want to learn more about caring for your smile?

Maintaining oral health and wellness is essential for maintaining a healthy smile and avoiding a variety of problems such as bad breath, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. At Montefiore Medical Center, we provide education on maintaining oral health as well as services to restore and repair the smile. We have 11 convenient office locations and can be reached at (888) 700-6623.

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