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Don’t Forget About Your Tongue!

added on: May 20, 2015

May4At my dental office in St. Joseph, we always talk about how important it is to brush everyday, twice a day, and to floss at least once. Following this routine is a great way to keep your mouth protected from harmful bacteria and acid, but there’s one thing we’re forgetting and want to make sure you don’t forget about it too.

The Tongue

We often forget about our tongues when we talk about oral hygiene. But we shouldn’t. A clean tongue is just as important as having clean teeth and clean gums. The tongue is home to about 10,000 taste buds and tons of other tiny bumps called papillae. These bumps and crevices create a great place for bacteria and acid to thrive. And that makes a clean tongue very important for a healthy mouth.

The Cleaning Routine

Every time you brush your teeth, make sure to gently scrub the surface of your tongue. This easy task is the best way to keep your tongue, and your mouth, healthy.

Sometimes we have patients who can’t successfully brush their tongues due to a sensitive gag reflex. For these patients, we recommend using a tongue scraper. A tongue scraper is just as effective, if not more so, as brushing. A gentle scrape with this tool can immediately lower the amount of bacteria in the mouth and keep your mouth, and your teeth protected.

The Reason

Your teeth and your tongue are almost always touching. This means that anything on the tongue is directly affecting your teeth. If acid and bacteria are left to linger on the tongue, your chance for tooth damage increases. What’s more, a cleaner tongue can actually make food taste better since your taste buds aren’t covered with taste-inhibiting bacteria.

Along with proper brushing and flossing, and a clean tongue, you’re well on your way to getting your smile healthy. To ensure everything is working well for you and there aren’t any potential problems, it’s also really important to maintain regular appointments at my St. Joseph dental office. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re getting the proper care you need and that your mouth is healthy for a lifetime.

Welcoming patients from St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, and South Bend.


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