How to Clean Your Tongue and Other Surprising Methods to Try
The tongue is a vital part of the mouth. It aids in speaking and digesting your food.
You don’t often think of your tongue when you are brushing or cleaning your mouth, but it’s also a part that should be given proper attention.
When your tongue feels different or turns to white it could be because of improper oral hygiene or a sign of a disease.
An infected or unclean tongue can lead to different issues like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque buildup or other oral health-related diseases.
Why do you Need to Clean Your Tongue
Over the years, there have been different studies pointing to the benefits of cleaning your tongue.
These benefits include:
- Sulfur content-reduction on the mouth that cause bad odor
- Bacteria-reduction on the mouth
- Over-all fresher feeling of your mouth
- Reduction of plaque buildup
- Prevention of altered taste sensation
- Prevention of other oral health problems such as gingivitis, periodontitis, halitosis
What Causes White tongue
The papillae are tiny bumps or lining on the tongue. When it swells up or becomes inflamed, it turns your tongue to white or results to tongue discoloration.
All sorts of things can get trapped on the enlarged papillae. It could be bacteria, dirt, food, fungi or even dead skin cells. All these things turn your tongue to white.
There are more conditions that can turn your tongue to white including the following:
- Eating lots of soft foods
- Poor brushing
- Poor or no flossing
- Dry mouth
- Breathing using your mouth
- Drinking alcohol
- Irritations on the mouth such as dental instruments or sharp edges of the teeth
How to Keep Your Tongue Clean
Keeping your tongue clean shouldn’t be difficult. The key in keeping your tongue clean includes good oral practices like:
- Brushing your teeth twice or after every meal
- Flossing your teeth daily
- Eating a well-balanced meal
- Scraping or brushing your tongue
- Rinsing with mouthwash
- Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for oral examination or cleaning
In general, white tongue is common for people who neglect their oral care habits. If bearing no serious health concerns, white tongue can be fixed with proper brushing, flossing, and dental care.
Different Methods of Cleaning Your Tongue
Brushing, flossing or tongue scraping may be part of your daily routine.
But this doesn’t mean that you are doing it properly. These practices could have become quite mechanical so you’re not really mindful of whether you’re doing it properly or not.
As part of preventing your tongue from turning white and cleaning your mouth totally you should learn how to clean your tongue properly using the following:
How to Clean Tongue Using a Tongue Scraper
Tongue scrapers, floss and toothbrushes can eliminate bacteria on your tongue.
However, there are studies that show that using a tongue scraper can be more effective than toothbrushes. WHEN it comes to tongue scraping.
It removes volatile sulfur compounds on your tongue that cause bad odor from your mouth. It also reduces bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath.
There are homemade tongue scrapers, there are also commercial ones. You can make your own bu
Tongue scrapers like Fresh Aid 3-in-1 Total Care can be quite handy in cleaning your tongue. It’s the total package providing a floss, pick and tongue-cleaner in one.
The pick and floss remove food particles and plaque that are trapped in between teeth. Thus, preventing gingivitis and tooth decay.
The tongue-scraper, on the other hand, helps remove the white film on your tongue that causes bad breath.
It’s perfect for on-the-go and travels. It’s convenient to bring anywhere.
So how do you use a tongue scraper? Here are the steps:
Step 1: Select a tongue scraping instrument. Tongue-scrapers can be plastic or metal.
Step 2. Stick out your tongue.
Step 3: Place your tongue-scraper starting at the back of your tongue.
Step 4: Press the tongue-scraper gently on your tongue. Move it outwards going to the tip/front of your tongue while applying pressure.
Step 5: Clean the tongue-scraper on running water to remove any films or debris.
Step 6: Spit out any particles or excess saliva that may have built up on your mouth while scraping your tongue
Step 7. Repeat the process several times until white film is removed or you see the pinkish color of your tongue. If there’s a need to, adjust the pressure or your tongue so as to prevent gagging.
You can scrape your tongue once or twice a day. You can also make a habit if scraping your tongue after every meal
How to Clean Your Tongue Using a Toothbrush
A toothbrush can be less effective than a tongue-scraper. However, you may find it more convenient method as you are already brushing your teeth after meal. Or if there are no available tongue-scraper.
So how do you clean your tongue with a toothbrush? Check this out:
Step 1: Find a soft-bristle toothbrush to use.
Step 2: Stick out your tongue as far as it can reach.
Step 3: Place your toothbrush starting at the back of your tongue.
Step 4: Brush your tongue lightly. Move the brush forward and backward along the length of your tongue.
Step 5: Spit out particles and saliva during brushing.
Step 6: Rinse your mouth with warm water.
Step 7: Repeat the process as needed.
When you clean your tongue, clean it as often as you brush.
If there is still discoloration on your tongue, you might want to try brushing using 1 part hydrogen peroxide mixed with 5 parts water. Then rinse your mouth. Avoid swallowing the mixture.
Can Mouthwash Clean Your Tongue
A mouthwash can also help clean your tongue. This is more effective if you combine it with toothbrushing or scraping. And it doesn’t only clean your tongue but other parts of the mouth as well.
When using a mouthwash, you need to consider the active ingredients that can eliminate the bacteria on your mouth. Some mouthwash will only mask bad breath but will not address the cause.
Mouthwashes come with instructions. You need to follow it to maximize its benefits.
When Do You Need to See a Dentist
Having a white tongue is normally harmless. But there are conditions that you need to be mindful of as well especially if your white tongue is accompanied by a different sensation.
If you notice the unusual change and it’s been consistently happening, you should see your dentist or doctor.
Check the following conditions when you need to visit one:
- Your tongue has developed white patches. This could mean oral thrush, leukoplakia, oral lichen planus, oral cancer or syphilis
- Your tongue looks red or has developed pink or red patches. This can be another condition
- If your tongue appears too smooth or glossy.
- If your tongue feels numb
- If your tongue Looks yellow, black-violet or feels and looks hairy
- If your tongue develops sores or lumps that don’t get well after a few weeks
- If your tongue has several burns
Cleaning your tongue as part of your oral hygiene is not only a good practice but a necessity. It helps prevent the risk of cavities, bad breath and other oral health diseases. It also contributes to a fresher feeling on your mouth.
Just take note that if there are any unusual changes on your mouth, you need to see a dentist immediately.
Shop for Fresh Aid 3-in-1 Total Care
Flossing and brushing teeth after meals will not only save your teeth from cavity but it’s also the best way to maintain fresh breath and a clean and healthy-looking tongue.
Fresh-Aid makes flossing and tongue scraping convenient and fast. If you have been experiencing white tongue then sticking to a strict brushing, flossing & tongue scraping habit should clear up the white tongue in less than a week.
To aid you in building a healthy oral habit, use Fresh Aid 3-in1 Total Care. It’s a floss, pick and tongue-cleaner in one.
You can get one here: Fresh Aid 3-in-1 Total Care