Should You Be Caring for Your Tongue?


Most people know that they should be brushing and flossing their teeth every day. When it comes to caring for our tongues, however, the recommended advice isn’t quite as straightforward. The tongue, with its rough surface, holds roughly half of the bacteria living inside the mouth, and leaving it untended can result in a variety of oral health problems such as bad breath, tooth decay, and other health problems.

5 Simple Tongue Care Tips

1. Choose a Method
You can scrape your tongue using a special tongue scraper or brush your tongue using a toothbrush. You can also use a combination of both methods.

2. Choose a Scraper
If you choose to use a scraper, you’ll have a few different options in types of scrapers and materials. Stainless steel scrapers are usually more expensive, but they can be sterilized in boiling water and last longer. Plastic scrapers are less expensive, but they’re more difficult to clean.

3. Scraper or Brush the Right Way
When cleaning your tongue, it’s best to extend your tongue and then scrape or brush from back to front. While cleaning your tongue, be gentle. Your tastebuds and soft tissues are delicate. Don’t press too hard or scrape too quickly.


4. Rinse With Mouthwash
After scraping or brushing your tongue, you can follow up by swishing with an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash. Choose a flavor that you prefer and follow the recommended swishing instructions on the bottle to determine how long to swish and how frequently to rinse.

5. Do It Daily
Most experts recommend cleaning your tongue at least once a day.

Signs Your Tongue Needs Better Care

Despite your new tongue-cleaning regimen, you might need to see a dentist or doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Discoloration (the tongue should be pink)
  • Tongue pain
  • Lesions or sores on the tongue
  • White film on the tongue that persists for more than two weeks
  • A diminished sense of taste

Oral Hygiene Education and Preventative Care in La Mesa

At Cardinal Dental, we place a strong emphasis on oral hygiene and preventative care to help our patients achieve optimal oral while preventing serious oral health problems from ever developing. To learn more about the importance of oral hygiene and caring for your tongue, we welcome you to contact our office to schedule an appointment today.