Have you ever had your friends turn away while you are talking to them or your significant other not longing for that goodnight kiss? Or, imagine this: talking to someone and feeling like you have to take a few steps back just to get out of the range of their smelling breath. If there was one problem some people would desperately want to get rid of, it would be bad breath.
When it comes to improving oral health, most people believe brushing and flossing is all it takes. However, if you are not cleaning your tongue, you are neglecting an extremely important part of good oral hygiene practices. Whether it is to fight bad breath or just for good dental health, cleaning your tongue is equally important, dentists say.
Dr. William Christensen, a prosthodontics practitioner in Utah, is of the view that modern dentistry has somewhat overlooked the importance of tongue cleanliness. According to him, “There is no question that dentists and dental hygienists look very carefully at debris on the teeth, and advise patients how to clean their teeth. However, dental practitioners do not often discuss the necessity of cleaning the tongue. Some dentists instruct patients to use a toothbrush for tongue cleaning, but this has been shown to be inadequate”.
Many of the bacteria that cause bad breath actually live on your tongue, experts say. Cleaning it regularly will help prevent tooth decay and other serious oral complications. Scraping your tongue daily may even help to prevent more serious health complications that arise when bacteria in your mouth enter your bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body.
Often, you see extremely coated tongues with green, brown, yellow, and even black debris on the surface. Studies revealed that a person’s tongue collects debris every day, and a tongue-cleaning regimen is necessary to reduce bad breath. No matter how many times you sneak in an extra tooth brushing after a meal, you will probably never get rid of lingering bad breath until you have learned how to clean your tongue the right way.
Here are a few tips from experts on how to effectively clean your tongue for better breath:
Drink green tea. Green tea has been associated with better-smelling breath. It helps to eliminate oral bacteria
Occasionally, you can use a mouth wash. Mouth wash helps to remove the bad odour caused by deposition of bacteria on the tongue. It is best to look for a mouthwash that kills bacteria, rinses away plaque, and that leaves you with fresh breath, without irritating your gums.
Clean the tongue on a regular basis to prevent bacteria from growing. You can use toothbrushes designed for cleaning the tongue or the ones’ which have an attachment.
Another way is to scrape your tongue with a thoroughly washed tongue-cleaner or scrapper. While scrapping, don’t apply too much pressure. Scrape it in a downward motion at least two to three times.
Be sure to drink a sufficient amount of water (six to eight 8-ounce glasses) daily to avoid dry mouth. Drinking water will also help keep odour under control because it helps wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath
By Gabriel Ifinnwa