Many of our mothers used to repeat over and again, “Make sure you brush your tongue!” While we most likely complied when we were young, we probably asked ourselves, “Why do I need to brush my tongue? It doesn’t have any teeth on it.”
It turns out that brushing our tongue has a variety of benefits associated with it. In fact, researchers have claimed that brushing our tongue can reduce halitosis or bad breath. In a study performed in 1998, researchers confirmed that 87% of patients with bad breath experienced the problem due to mouth conditions, and of those patients, 51% of them had problems with the surface of their tongue. Another study showed that brushing our tongue can reduce halitosis anywhere from 59-88% (Danser 2003).
How does this happen?
When we brush or scrape the top surface of our tongue, we’re disrupting the vast amount of bacteria, dead cells, and food debris that live there on a regular basis.
The back part of the tongue is where we should spend the majority of our time brushing. The front side actually accumulates fewer bacteria, since it rubs up against our soft palate more often, and that friction can consistently disrupt the bacteria living on the front part of the tongue.
While a specially designed tool called a tongue cleaner will most likely give you the greatest benefits, the most important thing to remember when brushing your tongue is to do is gently and consistently every single day. There’s no need to be overly zealous, just thorough.
If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.