Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes at least twice a day is important to keeping your teeth healthy. However, when you are brushing your teeth, don’t forget to take a few extra seconds to brush your tongue as well.
What are the benefits of tongue brushing?
Tongue brushing offers several benefits, the first of which is to remove potentially harmful bacteria or food particles. Just as bacteria are present on your teeth, they also can accumulate on your tongue. The second benefit is that brushing the tongue can ensure fresher breath. The bacteria and food particles removed through tongue brushing can cut down on the amount of potentially smelly particles. If you are self-conscious that you may have bad breath, brushing your tongue can help.
Another benefit of tongue brushing can be to enhance the flavors of your food. By removing any built-up food and bacteria on your tongue, you can better open up your tastebud pores to enhance the flavor of your food.
But brushing my tongue causes me to gag
Some of our Glendale, AZ dentist’s patients report difficulty with brushing their tongues, saying it can cause gagging. We have a few tips to keep this from occurring. Make sure you avoid brushing too far back as brushing the tongue at the back of your throat can stimulate your gag reflex. Try to brush from front to back, avoiding the very back of your throat.
If you have difficulty brushing your tongue, you can also try to purchase a tongue scraper, which is a plastic device that is small and curved. You place the device toward the back of your mouth and bring it forward. Rinse your scraper thoroughly after use.
For more tips on how you can keep your mouth healthy or to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning, please call our Glendale, AZ dentist’s office at (623) 878-3300.