4 Ways You Should Be Taking Care of Your Tongue
It can be easy to overlook one very important part of your oral health care routine: taking care of your tongue! Your tongue helps you speak, chew, swallow, and taste. It has 10,000 taste buds, and each taste bud has 50 to 150 taste receptors that allow you to enjoy your food. Your tongue also holds a lot of the bacteria that live in your mouth. As you can see, it is very important to take care of this complex muscular organ. Like your teeth and gums, your tongue needs some TLC in order to stay healthy. At Prescott Dentistry, we believe the health of your whole mouth, including your tongue, affects your overall health.
Brush Your Tongue Regularly
Whenever you brush your teeth, it is important to remember to also brush your tongue. Using a small amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush, gently brush from the back of the mouth toward the front, using a downward motion. This will help get rid of the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. But be aware that using too much pressure could cause damage to your tongue, so as we mentioned previously, brush gently. Finish by rinsing with water or a warm saline solution to wash the harmful bacteria off your tongue.
Use a Tongue Scraper
A tongue scraper allows you to clean your tongue even more thoroughly than a toothbrush. This tool is made from a flexible, soft plastic. It allows you to lightly scrape away the mucus layer and bacteria growing on your tongue that can cause bad breath. Be sure to wash the scraper under warm water to remove the bacteria each time you use it. If you find that the scraper causes soreness, try using less pressure.
Pay Attention to the Color of Your Tongue
The color of your tongue can tell you a lot about the health of your mouth. A healthy tongue should be light pink and might have a slight white coating. However, a thick white coating can indicate dehydration or even a fungal infection called thrush. A pale tongue could point to a vitamin deficiency. A bright red tongue on the other hand, could mean something more serious is going on like an infection or a blood or heart disorder. So if you notice any unusual color changes in your tongue, be sure to schedule an appointment with us so we can take a look.
Stay Hydrated and Drink Green Tea
As you know, staying hydrated is important to the overall health of your entire body. But you’ll be glad to know, drinking water also helps to wash away the bacteria and food debris from your tongue and teeth. So make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and especially after meals. Green tea has also been shown to eliminate oral bacteria that can cause odor and disease. And green tea has loads of other health benefits, so drink up!
Give us a Call Today!
While it should never take the place of brushing and flossing, taking care of your tongue can freshen your breath, improve your sense of taste, help prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and improve your overall health. And of course, keeping up with your regular dental appointments here at Prescott Dentistry is also an integral part of your overall dental hygiene. Give us a call to schedule your next cleaning. We look forward to helping you keep your mouth healthy and beautiful!