In this post, you are going to learn 3 best ways to clean your tongue.
This guide can let you get rid of bad breath and have healthier gums.
So if you want to get rid of bad breath, you will love this guide.
So let’s dive in!
Your tongue is an important part of your body as it helps you to taste, speak, swallow.
Your taste buds have the most important job to help you enjoy your every meal.
So do you clean it every day and do you want to know the best way to clean your tongue?
Today I will share a few facts about your tongue, why it is important to clean your tongue and 3 simple and easy ways that you can immediately start today to clean your tongue effectively.
“I never brush my tongue.”
If this is “you”, let me explain what is living on your tongue.
Why Should You Clean Your Tongue?
Your tongue is the gateway for more than 6 billion bacteria to pass through your body.
When they first land on your lovely tongue, they vigorously start to attach to the tongue cell’s surface and then grow in layers and form larger clusters — creating miniature environments.
Soon you get a lively community living right under your nose.
Above them, a layer of mucus grows like a blanket over them, and give them the moist and dark condition best suited for bacteria growth.
You can refer to research done here.
Why then would you want to invite these visitors to build their habitat on your tongue?
While you go about the day having your meals, food particles get trapped under the bumps on your tongue.
Over the night hours, as you sleep, they can quickly multiply.
Even after you brush your teeth, these bacteria can be redeposited on your teeth and gums, starting the second round of contamination.
The layer of coating on your tongue is called the biofilm.
This is where you have to do the thorough job of removing the coating altogether.
Please do not forget fungi and many undesirable bugs are thriving on your tongue!
Healthy Vs Unhealthy Tongue
A Healthy Tongue
A healthy tongue is pink and has small nodules called papillae.
We have 5 senses of tastes, namely the sourness, sweetness, bitterness, saltiness and the fifth taste is umami.
Foods that have a strong umami flavor include broths, gravies, soups.
On average, the human tongue has 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds. That is a lot!
When we eat foods, the chemicals in the food dissolved in your saliva and come into contact with the taste receptors.
The taste receptor cells send information detected by clusters of various receptors to your brains to allow you to experience the different senses of tastes.
This is why having a clean tongue is very important to help you enjoy your foods.
Types of Unhealthy Tongues
Our tongues can reveal our various health conditions and even diseases in our bodies. These are the common ones.
It could be an indication of oral thrush or a yeast infection. Sometimes, it could be due to antibiotics that you have taken if you have an illness. Certain medical conditions like diabetics can lead to such instances of white spots.
If your tongue is red, it could indicate a vitamin deficiency of folic acid and Vitamin B-12. Other causes of red spots could be due to Scarlet fever where your tongue will appear to be have strawberry-like bumpy spots.
Black and Hairy Tongue
A condition such as Black and Hairy tongue can occur in people with poor oral habits. The bacteria grow excessively in the taste buds causing them to look dark.
Sore and Pale Tongue
This will be the most common one that we are likely to have at some point or another in our lives. They include sore tongue due to physical injury, canker sores, and smoking too much.
Here is a video of the different conditions of not-so-healthy tongues.
Benefits of Healthy Tongue
By having a healthy tongue, you will be able to
- Have cleaner taste buds to taste your food
- Better immune system
- Remove bad breath
- Reduce Cavities and plaque
How Often Should You Clean Your Tongue?
Ideally, you want to clean your tongue twice a day, once in the morning after you wake up and in the night before you sleep.
Having slept the night before, the mouth has accumulated millions of germs and the body has done a detox.
We need to drink lots of water to flush out these toxins. As we brush our teeth, we must remember to brush the tongue to remove the toxins accumulated over the night.
Before you sleep. you need to brush your tongue to clean off the remaining food debris that could be trapped on the tongue.
During mid-day, if your mouth feels dry, you can also do a quick rinse to refresh the tongue.
This can also help keep your breath fresh.
3 Best Ways to Clean Your Tongue
1. Tongue Cleaner
Growing up, I would see my parents use a stainless steel piece of tongue cleaner to clean their tongue. Though I find it weird that a piece of stainless steel can actually clean the tongue, I never really follow the practice until a few years ago.
I learned that the tongue scraper does its job like a broom.
It reaches as far back of the tongue and collects the layer of mucus as it is being gently scraped from back of tongue towards the tip of the tongue.
Repeat this general sweep of the tongue a few more times from back to front in one direction, until there is no layer of mucus. Rinse immediately under a running tap.
Researchers have found that a tongue scraper can remove as much as 75% of compounds that cause bad breath while a toothbrush can only remove 45%.
Another useful tool is none other than your trusty toothbrush.
After brushing for your usual 2 minutes, spit out your toothpaste but do not rinse out first.
Stretch out your tongue as far forward.
Holding the toothbrush perpendicular to your tongue, use the bristles of your toothbrush to gently brush your tongue from as far back to your front of the tongue.
Sweep forward a few times.
After that, just rinse as per normal.
For this method, there is no additional need to buy anything else. Some toothbrushes come with raised bumps behind the head of the toothbrush.
3. Baking Soda
Using Baking Soda is also an effective way to clean off the acidity in your mouth and tongue.
It reduces the bacteria and as a result, you reduce your bad breath and have a better looking tongue.
To make a baking soda solution, just dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in water, swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes and spit out.
Its that simple to achieve a clean tongue.
Bonus: Healthy Habits For A Healthy Tongue
Some more simple tips to keep your tongue healthy.
1. Drink lots of water daily. Water lubricates the tongue and washes off bits of food on the tongue. Drinking helps to keep the digestive system healthy.
2. Limit intake of alcohol, coffee, and tea. Drinking all these can cause staining of teeth, and also make you taste buds less sensitive to foods that you eat.
3. Quit Smoking. Smoking is linked to many diseases and causes lots of unpleasant stuffs to the mouth like bad breath and can even cause sores on tongues.
4. Exercise. Exercise keeps a body by removing toxins from the body. After that, drink lots of water.
5. Drink Green Tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that can help with anti-aging and also gives a fresh smell to the mouth by suppressing the odour in the mouth.
Cleaning your tongue can contribute tremendously to your oral health and that of the whole family.
Whether you use a toothbrush, tongue scraper, mouth rinse or even baking soda, these are all effective ways to get a clean tongue.
Let me know if you already have a habit of cleaning your tongue.
Read next>> What is The Best Tongue Scraper?