Aside from the required tooth brushing, tongue scraping should also be part of your daily oral health routine. People who have dental appointments know how essential it is to have their tongues scraped on a regular basis, but often times, this important step is ignored. Most people believe that a strong mouthwash is enough.
The Tongue Anatomy
The tongue is the fleshy, muscular organ in your mouth that is used for tasting, chewing, and swallowing food. It is made up of a complicated network of parts that works with the other parts of the mouth to keep your oral system functioning well. The most important feature of the tongue is the millions of filiform papillae which carry the tiny nerves of your taste buds. This is the reason why you enjoy all your favorite food, and are able distinguish salty from sweet, and bland from savory.
A sticky film develops on your tongue while you sleep, which indicates what is really going on inside your body. Depending on your type of diet, quality of oral hygiene, and pre-existing health conditions, the color of the film may vary from yellow to brown, and sometimes, even green.
Scraping the Tongue
Not all of us know what tongue scraping is exactly and to some, it may seem like a silly, strange thing to do. However, tongue scraping has been part of ancient medicine and traditional Indian practices. It is believed to clean off the "negative elements" that could destroy and harm the physical body. Though proof was not available at that time, the fact that it is still practiced and strongly encouraged by modern dentistry says enough.
If you can’t find a scraper, your toothbrush will do fine. The trick is to maneuver it in the right direction. Brush your tongue like you're sweeping away bad bacteria from it in a downward direction. The correct way of brushing your tongue is to brush it all the way from top to bottom, on both the top and underneath. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm, clean water and you should be good to go!
Benefits of Tongue Brushing
Tongue brushing isn't just recommended by dentists to add complication to your oral hygiene routine. This ancient practice has been proven to provide you with many benefits. Here are some reasons why you should include this in your daily cleaning habit:
To make your mouth bacteria-free.
Your tongue harbors the majority of the bacteria found in your mouth and is basically the reason why your mouth smells weird sometimes. Bad breath can have a huge impact in important aspects of your life such as relationships, finding a potential partner, or improving self-confidence. Your diet can also affect your mouth odor. So if you're a fan of liquors, dense protein foods, sugars, or acidic foods, you might want to brush your tongue more often. Also, gargling mouthwash will help you wash away bacteria found in the hard-to-reach areas of your tongue such as the back portion.
You will enjoy your favorite food more.
Digestion begins in the mouth, but what good is that step if you don't even know how your food tastes? If you are not removing toxic mucus from your tongue on a daily basis, your tastes buds are bound to get blocked. This causes you to taste food differently. Brushing your tongue opens up the blocked areas of your tastes buds and will give you greater enjoyment of your food.
You want to improve dental health.
Regular brushing of teeth and tongue is the foundation of excellent dental health. If your mouth is bacteria-free, you don't have to worry about tooth decay or tartar. Maintaining a good dental health routine is basically all you need to have perfectly healthy teeth and gums. Tongue brushing will help you eliminate majority of the bacteria that lurks in your mouth which could also affect your teeth in the long run.
Tongue scrapers or toothbrushes with tongue cleaners are your best weapons when it comes to cleaning your tongue. Cleaning your tongue as often as cleaning your teeth will spare you from other dental diseases that keeps you from having a healthy and bacteria-free mouth.