The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. While you may be an avid two-minute brusher, there is still one place you might be forgetting to brush every day: your tongue.
Why You May Want to Brush Your Tongue
Although the American Dental Association says brushing your tongue isn’t totally necessary for good oral health in the same way brushing your teeth and flossing are, there is some evidence that suggests it can help keep bad breath at bay.
Bad breath can happen anytime thanks to the hundreds of bad breath-causing bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. Plus, when you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leave a foul-smelling waste product behind.
Another cause of stinky breath? Your mouth might not be making enough saliva. Saliva is important because it works around the clock to wash out your mouth. If there’s not enough, your mouth isn’t being cleaned as much as it should be.
If you have a coated tongue — a buildup of debris, bacteria, and dead cells — due to smoking, dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, yeast infection, or medication use, brushing or tongue scraping could help remove the bacteria and freshen your breath.
When you stick your tongue out, you’ll see a white or brown coating in the back. That’s where most of the bad breath bacteria hides out. Just use a toothbrush or tongue scraper to clear them out. Keep in mind that you should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, so if you’re using a designated tongue scraper, you can pick a new toothbrush and scraper up at the same time.
At the very least, brushing your tongue will make your mouth feel really clean. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste like Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair Extra Fresh to help actively repair acid-weakened enamel and freshen your breath.