OHI: Tongue Cleaning
A tongue is the first part that has the highest level of bacteria in the mouth. However, few people take enough time in cleaning it. When the tongue is not cleaned in the proper way, there are many side effects which will result from this. To reduce tooth decay, bad breath and the unsightly tongue, it is important to clean the tongue in proper manner.
The tongue has many parts, and these parts are not smooth. All these crevices and bumps can harbor bacteria. At least half of the bacteria in the mouth are found on the tongue. They can make a film on the tongue, leading to many health problems. The tongue has to be pink, and if there is any discoloration, it should be noted and dealt with. It is recommended to see a dental health professional if
- There is a concern that changes are taking place on the tongue.
- Tongue coating stays on for over two weeks
- If there is tongue pain that lasts for long
- If there is desquamation or white area at the surface of a tongue
Why Cleaning the Tongue is Important
Cleaning the tooth offers more than just fighting away the bad breath. It helps to break away the tissue at the tongue and avoids having a hairy tongue. It also removes the bacteria which may contribute to tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to different health problems.
By Cleaning the Tongue, It will:
- Control the unwanted bacteria which may contribute towards the tooth decay
- It fights off the bad breath
- It improves with the taste sense
- It gives better aesthetics while laughing or smiling
Decide on Which Tool To Use
There are many tools that can be used to clean the tongue. The tongue scraper is known to be the most common. The tongue brush is just recent, but there are tongue cleaners that have been on the market for a long.
- Researchers have shown that tongue brushing and scraper lead to the same results when reducing plaque.
- There are some brushes with tongue scrapers that allow both scarping and brushing
Cleaning of the tongue
When it comes to cleaning the tongue, there are two options, it can be scraped or brushed. The end result is still the same regardless of which method is used.
Cleaning where the coating takes place:
More effort should be used to clean the end portion of the tongue. This is because it is where more film leads to the bad breathtaking place. There is no need to reach too far because what is needed is cleaning the top surface of a tongue. The tonsillar tissue found nearby should not be scraped or brushed.
- It is important to be gentle while cleaning since cleaning roughly can cause bleeding and irritation. Doing this has to be avoided.
- While cleaning the tongue, it is important to work more on the center region of a tongue and not at the edges since it is easy to make an injury in such an area.
- For someone who does not have problems with odor, it is good to clean the tongue at least once daily.
- If there is a need to deal with odor, cleaning the tongue twice is recommended.
Tongue Brushing Instruction
To start with tongue brushing, there is no need to get a special tool to do it; a regular toothbrush can do the job.
- The first step is to moisten the brush using tap water in order to soften up the bristles
- Sticking of the tongue out to see if there is any film that had been formed and to see where to clean
- Cleaning start at the back towards the front and using of the brush strokes on the tongue which break up the debris for scrub
- It is important to use pressure but it should not be enough in irritating the tongue
- Sticking the tongue out and to evaluate the results and then the person to continue brushing when needed
- Rinsing of the mouth after cleaning the tongue.
Tongue Scrapping Instruction
Scraping the tongue requires using two items, the tongue cleaner, and a tongue scraper.
- A tongue scraper is an inverted spoon, but there are others that have been specially designed. Using a tongue scraper eliminates the gunk easily, and a person is less likely to gag.
- A cleaner is found between a brush and a scraper. The cleaner has nubs and rubber bristles that help to reach into the furrows and grooves of the tongue. It features a blade part that cleans the surface of the tongue.