Tips on how to clean the tongue and get a fresh breath

Cleaning your tongue

You may brush twice a day and even sneak in an extra tooth brushing after lunch, but until you learn how to clean your tongue, you may not be able to get rid of lingering halitosis, or bad breath. Each time you reach for the toothpaste, get into the following oral health habits.

Tongue Brushing Techniques

After you have given your teeth a good brushing, focus on your tongue. It is simple enough to use the bristles of your toothbrush. You can also try a specialised brush with a built-in tongue cleaner on the back of the head.

The tongue harbours bacteria and food particles trapped under a thin layer of mucus. Remove this odour-causing build-up by using a small dab of toothpaste and carefully brushing the top of the tongue. Start by reaching to the back of the tongue, and then work forwards towards the opening of the mouth. Brush the entire top surface of the tongue using gentle pressure, and finish by rinsing with water.

Using a Tongue Scraper

For a more thorough cleaning, use a tongue scraper. This tool is usually made of soft, flexible plastic and gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from the tongue. Rinse the scraper under warm water after each swipe of the tongue.

If your tongue feels sore or begins to bleed, you are using the tongue scraper with too much force. Work slowly and with light pressure. Concentrate on the centre of the tongue where the bulk of odour-causing bacteria lie.

How Often to Clean Your Tongue

Each time you brush and floss your teeth, finish your dental care routine with a tongue cleaning. At a minimum, clean your tongue once in the morning and once in the evening before bedtime. If you have dry mouth or notice a foul taste in your mouth around midday, try cleaning your tongue to remedy the situation.

A mouthwash rinse used after cleaning your tongue moisturises the mouth and kills additional bacteria. Remember, maintaining fresh breath goes beyond routine tooth brushing. Getting into the habit of giving your tongue adequate attention will help keep your breath neutral and fresh.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.  

More Articles You May Like

BAD BREATH

Definition

Foul-smelling breath, usually caused by the breakdown of food by odor-causing bacteria. Other culprits include poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, disease, infection, tobacco use and severe dieting.

Causes

Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes that include:

  • Food particles from stinky foods like garlic and onions
  • Smoking
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Acid Reflux
  • Bacterial coating on the tongue
  • Poor Oral Hygiene

Bad breath got you down?

Bad breath can be uncomfortable for you and those around you, luckily it’s easy to fix. Try one of our breath freshening products!