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The Importance of Tongue Cleaning

A lady and a girl brushing their teeth in a mirror

Do you remember when a teacher told your class in the second grade that the tongue was the most powerful muscle in the body and you thought she meant that literally? (Perhaps don’t speak in metaphors to seven-year-olds, Mrs. Edwards.) Granted all the signs of a metaphor about gossiping and name calling were obvious to some, others of us went about life imagining lifting barbells with our tongues and then thinking that our teachers were crazy…and then thinking, “But what if she’s not?” Well, dental professionals like us at Carolina Family Dental often feel like teachers and we, too, feel like the tongue is pretty powerful. Let’s take this opportunity to discuss the importance of tongue cleaning to overall oral health.

Firstly, an excess of bad bacteria (some types of bacteria are good) is not an advantageous thing to stockpile in your mouth. A tongue is one of the perfect places bacteria survives and thrives in the body. It’s located in a place with a semi-steady food supply and has the misfortune of a trifecta of bacteria-loving conditions - warm, wet, and dark. Pair all of that with the fact that a good portion of people don’t brush their tongues regularly and you can see why tongue cleaning is a worthy discussion.

So Why Clean?

Because bad bacteria in the mouth can cause:

  • Cavities

  • Gum Disease (Can affect the heart, lungs, and other organs)

  • Tooth Enamel Damage

  • Bad Breath

  • Infections

  • Weakened Immune System

How Should We Clean?

  • Brush the Tongue

  • Scrape the Tongue (If Recommended by Your Dental Professionals)

  • Rinse with Mouthwash

How Can We Avoid Future Problems?

  • Reduce Intake of Sugary Foods and Drinks

  • Brush Regularly and Use Recommended Techniques

  • Floss

  • Check Medications for Side Effects

  • Stop Smoking

  • Limit the Likelihood of Yeast Infections

  • Get Regular Professional Cleanings and Checkups

The tongue may not be the most powerful muscle in the body, but it is certainly one of the most significant and overlooked parts of your complete oral health, and tongue cleaning is a great means to keep such a significant component healthy. Contact us at Carolina Family Dental if you would like an exam or regular cleaning. We would love to be your home for all needs concerning your dental health!