Teeth and gums are not the only things in your mouth that can benefit from regular cleaning as part of your oral hygiene routine. Your tongue and all of its rough surfaces can also harbor bacteria, leading to bad breath and even encouraging plaque formation.
The simplest method for cleaning your tongue is to lightly brush it after you have finished brushing your teeth. Try to brush around the sides of the tongue as well as the rough surface of the taste buds. A good rule of thumb is to brush gently for about a minute.
Tongue scrapers are also available on the market. They usually have a small plastic handle with a mildly sharp edge on one end. When using a tongue scraper, you should work from front to back making multiple overlapping sweeps. If you notice a buildup of material on the blade edge, you should rinse it off before making the next sweep.
There is no definitive research that finds tongue scrapers any more effective than a soft bristled toothbrush. It really is just a matter of personal preference.
If you find that you still have chronic bad breath, despite regular brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning, you should call us at (810) 695-7120 to schedule an appointment to identify the source of the problem.