A lot is said about dental health, especially about brushing your teeth and flossing. Still, there aren’t a lot of information on how to take care of your tongue. Even though it is one of the most important parts of your body, the muscular organ is quite neglected.
For instance, the tongue is the part of your body that takes care of the manipulation of food for mastication and is how you experience taste. The tongue is also responsible for your ability to swallow food and liquids. In humans, the tongue has the important task of speech. Suffice to say, taking care of your tongue is important for your health.
So, that got me wondering, are you supposed to brush your tongue? The reason you are supposed to brush your tongue is that it reduces the plaque level on your teeth and kills off bacteria that causes bad breath. Not only that but brushing your tongue will reduce bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
As you can see, there are enough reasons for you to always brush your tongue. Still, there are specific situations in which you’re not supposed to brush your tongue.
Below, you can find out in a more detailed way when you’re supposed to and when you’re not. For instance, how often you brush your tongue and how you do it matters more than flossing when it comes to the balance of your dental health.
Brushing Your Tongue Reduces Plaque Level
As stated above, the main benefit of brushing your tongue is reducing plaque level. You’ll immediately see results after a 10-day period. The reason is that when you brush your tongue, you kill bacteria that forms the plaques in your mouth.
Now, this is not only important because of bad breath. It does indeed help with that, but it’s so much more. Reducing plaque level is important to your health. You have fewer chances of developing certain diseases.
For instance, all that plaque will grow bacteria and will cause tooth decay, gum disease, and tartar buildup. It goes without saying that any of those problems are terrible to your dental health. So, this is enough to get you started on brushing your teeth.
Now, are you supposed to brush your tongue? Obviously, but you still have a right way and a wrong way of going about this. It’s important to do it right because you can actually cause more harm than good if you brush your tongue incorrectly. You can see everything about this below.
Say Goodbye To Halitosis
First of all, there’s the health part, which is reducing the plaque level and killing bacteria. Now, there’s also another part that has something to do with your health but it affects much more than that. Bad breath.
As you know, bad breath happens even if you brush your teeth at night. Obviously, it will reduce but you’re still likely to wake up with some bad breath. The reason is scientific but simple.
When you go to sleep, your mouth becomes a perfect, hospitable place for bacterial growth. This, in turn, is what causes bad breath in the morning. Now, when you do brush your teeth at night, you kill most of the bacteria that cause bad breath, so until morning, fewer bacteria are able to grow.
The whole point is that brushing your tongue will reduce this bacteria growth and, obviously, kill them. In turn, your bad breath will go away. So, make sure to brush your teeth with a good toothbrush before going to bed. I recommend the Oral-B White Pro Electric Toothbrush (Amazon).
If You Brush Too Harsh, It May Cause Microlesions
Now, this whole brushing your tongue business sounds perfect, but it still can go wrong. There’s such a thing as brushing your tongue in the wrong way, and it’s when you brush it too harsh. This is the situation that you should learn not to do it, otherwise, you might do more harm than good to your mouth.
Here’s why you should be careful. Brushing your tongue too harsh will cause microlesions in your tongue. You’ll experience this as discomfort or even the sensation that you cut your tongue. This is a clear sign that you’ve been brushing your tongue too harsh.
This microlesions will be open cuts, too small for you to see most of the time, that will create the perfect environment for bad bacterial growth. These kinds of bacteria can cause not only bad breath but actual diseases.
So, be careful with brushing your tongue too harsh. The secret is to do it gently without putting pressure on it.
If You Brush Too Much, You Also Kill The Good Bacteria
Now, besides having to be careful about brushing your tongue too harsh, you should also think about brushing it not as often. Before you think that you’re not supposed to do it every day, that’s not the case.
It is recommended that you brush your tongue every day, but only once a day. It is ideal that you brush your tongue in the morning to get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath. Then, you shouldn’t brush your tongue again on the same day.
Obviously, if you find it necessary for any particular reason, it might be the case to do so. The point is that you should be careful about not overdoing it. It kills the good bacteria in your mouth as well.
This means that the lactobacillus, good bacteria, also goes away when you brush it. So, if you do it too much, you’ll lose important protection to your body and other benefits to your health. So, do brush your tongue but not too much.
Alternative To Brushing
A lot of people are not too fond of brushing the tongue. These people are some dentists and the general public. The point is that usually, these people think that scraping the tongue is more efficient and healthier overall.
Now, there is a specific tool that you use to scrape your tongue. Tongue cleaner scrapers were made specifically to scrape the tongue thus clean it. They’re popular because they not only get the job done but they also are gentler on the tongue. This means that it’s harder to cause microlesions with them.
Still, there are advantages to brushing your tongue instead of scraping it. Brushing your tongue offers a deeper cleaning. Ideally, you should test both and see what works better for your dental hygiene routine.
So, you should experiment with tongue cleaner scrapers since they’re quite efficient and really helpful on removing the bacteria off your tongue. You’ll be able to see results immediately after you scrape your tongue. I recommend the Orabrush Tongue Cleaner (click to view pricing on Amazon).
Should You Brush Your Tongue Before Or After Your Teeth?
This is a great question. It’s almost as hard to answer as the flossing question. Still, the answer is whatever you want it to be. It sounds crazy, but the thing is that there are no studies that support either order of cleaning.
This means that you could brush your tongue before or after you brush your teeth, and as far as science knows so far, it won’t make a difference. Either way, you’ll clean your mouth. You can rinse your mouth and then brush your tongue or do the opposite.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that even though this is a personal preference, you should make sure that your teeth or your tongue don’t get contaminated after you’ve cleaned the other. This is quite normal to happen. The problem is that this way your mouth doesn’t get properly cleaned.
So, just make sure to follow whatever order you find to be the best for you, and that you do wash your mouth properly. You can do this with a mouth washer. This is vital to your overall health not only your mouth’s. I recommend the Waterpik Water Flosser (click to see the current pricing on Amazon)
When You Shouldn’t Brush Your Tongue
If you have normal health conditions, you should brush your tongue. As stated over and again, it’s good for your health and your breath. You can imagine how bad it is to be the person that always has bad breath. This gets in the way of your social life and even your job.
So, you should do everything you can to take care of your dental health and to avoid bad breath. Still, the point is about when you should brush your tongue. The answer is that you shouldn’t brush your tongue when you have certain health conditions.
If you have gum disease or the acid levels in your stomach is causing lesions in your tongue and mouth, maybe it is the case not to brush your tongue. The movements will worsen the lesion and may collaborate with bacterial growth.
How to brush your tongue?
You should make gentle movements toward the external part of your mouth. It’s important that you make gentle moves with your toothbrush. As you notice the white stain coming off, you can rinse your tongue. You should do this until you feel that the bad taste of bad breath has come off.
How often should you brush your tongue?
You should brush your tongue every day. This will reduce plaque level and kill the bacteria that causes bad breath and other diseases. Now, it’s important that you do not brush your tongue too harshly. Make sure to make gentle movements to not create microlesions.