Most of us know how important it is to brush and floss our teeth each day. But did you know that it also helps your oral health to brush your tongue? As it turns out, your tongue is the perfect environment for growing bacteria. And bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to eliminating bad bacteria, there are other good reasons to brush your tongue. Here are some of those:
- Brushing your tongue helps fight bad breath. Remember all that bacteria that builds up on your tongue? Not only does it contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, it also is a common cause for bad breath. Including tongue brushing as a regular part of your daily oral hygiene routine will help keep your breath fresh smelling.
- It helps your overall health. We mentioned earlier how getting rid of bacteria growth on your tongue helps fight tooth decay and gum disease, but what we didn’t mention is how important it is for your overall health as well. Gum disease has been closely linked to other more serious health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Once your gums become inflamed, that inflammation can quickly advance into gum disease. And if that’s not treated right away, it can make you more susceptible to a host of other problems.
- Brushing your tongue can help to boost your immune system. Any time your mouth comes into contact with a potentially harmful substance, your tongue is – quite literally – your first line of defense, so it makes sense to clean all those substances off your tongue before they have a chance to travel to other areas of your body and negatively impact your immune system.
- Food and drinks will taste better. You may be surprised how gently brushing your tongue each day – and, by extension, your taste buds — will enhance your sense of taste.
Now that you know how important it is to brush your tongue, we have to include a word of caution: be gentle! You can easily harm your tongue if you brush too hard, so use a soft-bristled brush and don’t be heavy-handed.
Most dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, so it’s easy to include gentle tongue brushing into your daily oral hygiene routine. Your tongue, along with your oral health and overall health, will thank you!