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Your tongue has many taste buds and other rough surfaces. These textured areas can often hold onto bacteria, promoting plaque buildup and bad breath. This is even more likely to be a problem if you’ve struggled with gum disease or other oral hygiene maladies in the past. One simple way to help mitigate these problems is to add a thorough tongue cleaning to your daily oral hygiene routine.

This can be done after you have brushed and flossed your teeth. Brush your tongue in a gentle circular motion. Make sure you brush around the sides of the tongue and the rough surfaces of the taste buds. This will help remove the bacteria and refresh your mouth.

Some people prefer to use a tongue scraper. This usually comes in the form of a small, plastic handle with a mildly sharp edge on one end. When using a tongue scraper, you should work from front to back making multiple overlapping sweeps. If you notice a buildup of material on the blade edge, you should rinse it off before making another pass over your tongue.

Once your tongue has been cleaned, you can rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash, which can also help wash away lingering bacteria and freshen your breath. Just keep in mind that antiseptic mouthwash can’t clean between teeth like floss can. Any material left in these areas will once again promote plaque formation and bad breath.

If you have questions about how to clean your tongue in Flint, Michigan, and prevent bad breath, you can always call 810-720-6433 to consult with your dentist, Dr. Steven Rodriguez, at Healthy Smiles Dental Care® of Flint.