You may consider yourself an expert of oral hygiene. You brush, you floss, you use mouthwash. But do you brush your tongue? If not, your oral health might be lacking. You may not have learned this at school, but there are some serious reasons why you need to be brushing your tongue. It seems like NBD, but trust us, it’s a bathroom habit you don’t want to miss out on. Brushing your tongue daily can improve your overall health, particularly your oral health, by a lot.
Whether you use your toothbrush, a tongue scraper, a metal spoon (seriously!) or the weird rubbery thing on the backside of your toothbrushhead, getting that tongue brushed will do you wonders. Add the ritual into your morning and nighttime toothbrushing routine, and we think you’ll notice a difference in the way your mouth, and possibly your body, feels.
Here are five reasons you gotta start brushing that tongue of yours.
1. It gets rid of bad breath and bacteria
The main reason you should brush your tongue is to get rid of the nasty bacteria that causes halitosis, which is more commonly known as bad breath. According to the Dental Care Partnership, the majority of bacteria in your mouth lives on your tongue, and if you’re just brushing your teeth while ignoring that tongue bacteria, then those little guys can reek havoc (get it?).
If left alone, the bacteria on your tongue can transfer to your teeth, which pretty much cancels out the brushing you just did. So do yourself — and those around you — a favor by scraping all that junk off your tongue. You might notice that people aren’t offering you as many breath mints throughout the day!
2. It prevents tooth decay
Like we mentioned before, the bacteria on your tongue can easily transfer to your teeth when left alone to fester in your mouth. That bacteria will eat away at your teeth and gums, which can eventually cause tooth decay or gingivitis. No matter how often you brush and floss, ignoring the tongue makes all that hard work come to naught.
It’s an extra step to add to your oral hygiene routine, but it’s a small price to pay, because taking care of your tongue can literally help you save face later down the road.