Most people are aware of how important it is for their oral health to brush and floss your teeth every day. But many people overlook taking care of their tongue. Think about it. Your tongue is a necessary part of eating, tasting, swallowing, and speaking. Did you know there are 10,000 taste buds on your tongue? Plus, each taste bud has between 50 and 150 receptors that allow you to enjoy the flavor of your foods. On the other hand, the tongue can hold on to a lot of bacteria that live in the mouth. Did you know the tongue was such a complex organ? It just makes sense to take good care of it, right?
Five Ways to Take Good Care of Your Tongue
Brush Your Tongue When You Brush Your Teeth
Hopefully, you already brush your teeth at least twice a day. That’s the perfect time to go ahead and brush your tongue. With just a small bit of toothpaste on the toothbrush, brush your tongue gently from the back to the front. This helps to remove odor-causing bacteria. Don’t apply too much pressure as it can damage your tongue.
You can clean your tongue well with a toothbrush, but with a tongue scraper, you can get a more thorough cleaning. The tool is made of soft, flexible plastic. The consistency is just right for scraping away the layer of mucus and the bacteria that grows on the tongue. Wash the tongue scraper with warm water after using it to remove any residual bacteria. If using the scraper makes your tongue sore, use less pressure.
Rinse Your Mouth Well
After brushing or scraping your tongue, rinse your tongue. If using the scraper makes your tongue sore, use less pressure. Rinsing your mouth with water, especially after cleaning your tongue, can help get rid of residual bacteria. You can also rinse with a warm saline solution made by mixing warm water with a teaspoon of salt. This can help keep most bacteria off of the tongue.
Check Your Tongue’s Color
The color of your tongue can give you clues about your mouth’s health. A healthy tongue will be light pink with a thin white coating. A thick coating is indicative of dehydration. It may also indicate an infection called thrush. A pale tongue usually means a vitamin deficiency. If your tongue is bright red, it may mean something serious like a heart disorder or a blood infection is going on. If you notice any significant changes in the color of your tongue, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mulandi at Eastern Slope Dental to see what is going on.
Stay Hydrated for Your Oral Health
Staying well-hydrated is important to your overall health, but it also holds the key to the health of your tongue. Drinking plenty of water helps wash away food debris and bacteria on your tongue and teeth. Drink lots of water throughout the day and particularly after you eat.
Drink Green Tea
Drinking green tea can be useful for keeping your tongue clean. It helps to eliminate oral bacteria from your mouth. This can help get rid of bad breath and protect against disease. Green tea is hydrating, plus it has numerous other benefits for your health.
Contact Dr. Mulandi at Eastern Slope Dental
Taking care of your tongue can help improve taste, prevent tooth decay, and freshen your breath. Keeping your routine visits at Eastern Slope Dental is an important part of maintaining good oral health too. Call us today to schedule your next exam or cleaning. If you have any questions about your oral health, please call Dr. Mulandi. We are here to help!