How To Clean Your Tongue

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Probably the best way to prevent bad breath or halitosis is to clean your tongue. Cleaning your tongue should be an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine.

The front part of your tongue is in contact with your hard palate and debris and bacteria do not build up there due to the friction caused by speaking and swallowing, etc.

It is the back portion of your tongue which mainly comes in gentle contact with your soft palate where the bacteria builds up. The bacteria which stays on the back of the tongue can be the cause of bad breath. This is why cleaning the tongue can be so helpful in eliminating bad breath.

If you want to check out the accumulation on your tongue simply stick out your tongue and see the film on the surface of the back of the tongue. The film may be clear, white, brown, yellow or green.

You can clean your tongue either by brushing with a toothbrush or using a scraper to scrape the film from the tongue.

Reach as far back on the tongue as possible. Doing this may cause you to gag, but hopefully this urge will diminish over time.

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You can use a regular toothbrush to clean your tongue or you can purchase a special toothbrush for tongue cleaning.

You can moisten the toothbrush with toothpaste or mouthwash, but simply using water on the brush will work just as well. The most important aspect is the brushing.

Stick out your tongue and locate the film on the back part of the tongue. Using some pressure, but not enough to irritate the tongue brush across the tongue to break up the film. When finished stick out your tongue and check the results. When satisfied with your brushing rinse your mouth.

If you prefer to scrape your tongue you can purchase a tongue scraper at your drugstore or your can use a small spoon to scrape. Again, moisten the scraper or spoon and start at the back of the tongue. With the scraper or spoon you want to draw a line from back to front on the tongue to remove the film. Rinse the scraper between each scrape. When you have finished scraping your tongue rinse your mouth. Some people find they have less problem with the gag reflex when they scrape the tongue instead of brushing it.

You should clean your tongue at least once each day. Its preferable to clean the tongue in the morning when you awake since a good deal of bacteria can accumulate in the mouth overnight while you are sleeping.