Tongue Cleaners: Do They Really Work?

Young girl sticking out tongueMost people know they need to have a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash as part of their daily oral hygiene routine. However, many are unsure as to whether or not they need to add a tongue cleaner into the mix. As a parent trying to install good dental habits with their children, should you encourage them to use a tongue cleaner as well?

The tongue is a wonderful part of the mouth. It’s covered with taste buds that allow you to enjoy all the wonderful flavors that come into your mouth. Unfortunately, it’s also a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria can cause such problems as tooth decay and gum disease. It can also be a large contributing factor in halitosis. In fact, it is said that 80-90% of bad breath problems stem from the decaying bacteria that is found on the tongue.

That’s why it’s important your tongue remains healthy and clean. While your tongue receives some cleaning from your mouthwash, it’s not entirely effective in removing all the bacteria and particles that can be stored on your tongue. And while many people will brush their tongue with their toothbrush, the bristles of the brush are not always effective in covering its bumpy landscape.

That’s why many dentists recommend using a tongue cleaner. There are two main types of tongue cleaners: a tongue bush and a tongue scraper. A tongue brush, like a toothbrush, works to loosen all of the particles and bacteria that are trapped within the taste buds and papillae that are located on the tongue. All you do is gently move the brush back and forth along the surface of the tongue. Once your tongue has been thoroughly covered, swish water in your mouth for 10 seconds and then spit it out to remove everything that was loosened.

A tongue scraper is designed to literally scrape off all the bacteria and particles lying on the surface of your tongue and then remove them from your mouth. To use a tongue scraper, start at the back of your mouth and gently scrape the white gunk on the surface of your tongue forward. When you get to the front of your mouth, rinse off the scraper, and then repeat until all surfaces of the tongue have been scraped and no more white gunk is removed.

If your children suffer from bad breath, consider trying a tongue brush or tongue scraper. By cleaning the surface of their tongue regularly, you can help eliminate the very things that cause their halitosis problems.