It’s a funny thing about your tongue. Most people just look at it as something that helps them eat, swallow and talk. But in reality, the tongue plays a very important role in your dental health. A lot of the importance of the tongue is the role it plays as a home for bacteria. You have been told that your mouth is full of bacteria and that it is. This is the bacteria that produces plaque and tartar; the causes of tooth decay.
Well, your tongue is a home for that same bacteria. The structure of the tongue makes it easier for the bacteria to hide. Your mouth is covered with little bumps called papillae. Within the grooves of these papillae lurk the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Saliva can’t wash the bacteria off of your tongue like it can wipe it off of your teeth. This makes your tongue the next most important area where bacteria hides. That is why you should clean your tongue.
When Should You Clean Your Tongue?
You should make cleaning your tongue a regular part of your daily oral hygiene routine. After you brush your teeth is the perfect time to clean your tongue. That would mean you should clean it twice a day. After you brush your teeth, the bacteria begin to build up fairly quickly. If you brush your tongue as well, there is that much less bacteria left in your mouth to replicate and begin forming plaque.
When you brush your teeth, and you should do this gently, you remove the bacteria from the grooves in between the papillae. You can brush your teeth with a toothbrush during your tooth-brushing regimen. Before you rinse your mouth, while you still have toothpaste residue in your mouth, you should use the toothbrush residue to brush your tongue, cheeks and the roof of your mouth. Bacteria can live in all of these places. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please contact us today.