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How to Clean Your Tongue Properly

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How to Clean Your Tongue Properly

The tongue doesn’t only get us into trouble when we use it to speak words we might later regret, it can get us into trouble when it comes to oral and dental health. Learning to keep it clean can help prevent tooth decay and other oral complications that would make a trip to a nearest Surrey dentist inevitable.

The tongue works hard for us. It acts as a communication tool by helping us articulate words. It is also our taste tester, providing us with information about the food we eat by means of the thousands of taste buds which cover most of its surface.

If the food is good, the tongue then manipulates it so our teeth can chew it easily and helps us to swallow it afterwards. But the tongue is not finished yet: After we’ve eaten, it does its best to clean out the mouth and remove vestiges of the food from the teeth.


After all the work it does for us, it certainly deserves a good cleaning, and there are many health benefits to including it in our oral hygiene routine.

The bacteria and plaque which gather on and between our teeth, causing tooth decay and gum disease, don’t just hang around on the teeth. Not when there’s that large muscular hydrostat close by to provide a comfortable home. The tongue has actually brought them on board itself by taking as many of those bacteria off the teeth as it can while trying to clean and protect them.

So keeping only the teeth and gums safe from the bacteria and plaque is simply not good enough. The tongue also needs a good and regular brushing and scraping. If it isn’t kept clean, the bacteria and plaque are right there on the tongue, ready to return to your teeth the moment you stop brushing them. They can also enter your bloodstream and flow right down into other parts of the body causing health complications elsewhere.

The bacteria that form on its surface can also be the cause of bad breath and we all know the embarrassment smelly breath can cause.

Cleaning your tongue

Try to get into the habit of cleaning your tongue every time you brush and floss your teeth. You can either use a toothbrush or a specially designed tongue scraper. The aim is to remove all the debris that gathers on your tongue.

Using a toothbrush


Using a little toothpaste on your brush, brush gently from as far back on your tongue as you can go without gagging, and work towards the front. Brush the whole surface and then rinse thoroughly with water.

Using a tongue scraper

Surrey dentist recommends a tongue scraper

Many dentists believe the soft and flexible plastic tongue scraper is more effective than a toothbrush. It is also put as far back on the tongue as possible and then pulled gently forward to scrape off particles and bacteria trapped on the tongue. After each pull-through, the scraper should be rinsed thoroughly. The action is then repeated until the scraper emerges free of debris. So keep your tongue clean and remember these 10 reasons to smile!

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