Why You Should Brush Your Tongue

Why You Should Brush Your Tongue
I have an Aunt who is very practical in her gift giving. Over the years, she has given me socks, undies, hairbrushes, and even a folding hamper. As a child, I was never interested in her gifts, but as I've gotten older I've realized that her gifts showed more clearly just how much she thinks of me.

Anyhow, this year's gift from my practical Aunt was a tongue scraper, bless her dear heart. Actually, I had been meaning to get one for myself for months but never got around to it. Problem solved.

Incidentally, do you make it a point to brush your tongue or use a scraper? I don’t have bad breath (shudder) but because there are days when I consume coffee by the gallons, coffee breath is always something I try to be conscious about.

If you look closely at your tongue, you will see that it has a rather rough-looking surface. Everything that goes inside your mouth touches the tongue and food particles get caught in those bumps and ridges. Tongue cleaning is essentially the same principle as flossing or tooth brushing. You need to get rid of any plaque or residue, else they literally rot in your teeth and start producing smelly gases as a byproduct of bacterial activity.

According to dentists, the highest concentration of mouth bacteria is not really on the teeth but rather on the soft tissues like the tongue and the gums. Brushing your tongue will not only help with bad breath but also keep acidity to a minimum, reducing the chances of teeth enamel breakdown.

I'm not due for a dental visit anytime in the next few weeks so I don't know about this but I have noticed that my breath smells and feels fresher since I started scraping. I have been gagging like crazy when I first started, but you do get used to it.

I have read that there are lots of options for brushing/scraping the tongue. You can use anything from a soft toothbrush to a popsicle stick. But for me, I like my tongue scraper; it’s easy to clean and it's wide enough so that I can get the entire width of the tongue in one go.

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