You’ve probably been told from an early age that brushing and flossing is the way to keep gums and teeth healthy. Of course, if you have dental insurance, regular cleanings are scheduled twice a year.
One area of the mouth that is often overlooked is the tongue. A healthy tongue should have uniform pink coloring. A tongue that is white on the top may be harboring harmful bacteria, dead cells and food debris.
It may gross you out to think about cleaning your tongue, but it’s not a difficult process. Here are 3 tips for proper cleaning of your tongue:
A tongue scraper is usually made of soft, flexible plastic, and helps remove the top layer of white film. The key is to apply gentle pressure, so scrape in a downward motion at least three times. Rinse the scraper in warm water after each swipe.
Take your time and start from the back and work your way forward. For easier bacteria removal, coat the tongue with toothpaste before scraping.
Special Toothbrush with Tongue Cleaner
Purchase a quality toothbrush with a tongue cleaner such as the Colgate 360. Don’t brush your tongue with the same side of the toothbrush that you use to clean your teeth. A good time to do this is right after you brush and floss.
After you’re finished cleaning your tongue, rinse thoroughly with water. If you have a favorite mouthwash, swish it in your mouth for 30-60 seconds. This moistens the mouth and kills additional bacteria.