How Brushing Your Tongue Can Help Keep Your Breath Fresh

man brushing his mouth - brushing your tongue helps halitosis

How Brushing Your Tongue Can Help Keep Your Breath Fresh

A good oral hygiene routine is very important when it comes to making sure your mouth is healthy and your breath is fresh. We all know how important it is to brush our teeth, but did you know that brushing your tongue could be just as important? Here’s how brushing your tongue can help fight both tooth decay and halitosis (chronic bad breath). 

Brushing Your Tongue Helps Kill Bad Bacteria 

While some bacteria are beneficial, many are not and some can cause tooth decay and halitosis. Your tongue is filled with places where bacteria can hide. Just like plaque builds up on your teeth, it can also build up around your taste buds and on other parts of the tongue. 

Although you can’t get a cavity on your tongue, it is still important to remove the bacteria living on it. Groups of bacterial colonies can form a biofilm on the surface of your tongue and easily spread bacteria to your teeth, causing cavities and increasing your risk of infections. 

Three Tips for Removing Bacteria on Your Tongue

In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, eating healthy food, and keeping up with your dental health through twice-yearly check-ups, you should also be brushing your tongue. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Brush using a side to side motion as well as back to front. Brushing in every direction will ensure you get as much biofilm and bacteria off of your tongue as possible. 
  2. Do not brush too hard. Be gentle! Your tongue is delicate, and brushing too much or too roughly can create scrapes or cuts that will hurt. 
  3. Rinse your mouth after you brush your tongue. Rinsing alone will not kill all the bacteria, but mouthwash will help wash away any bacteria loosened from your tongue while brushing.


Three Other Ways to Fight Bad Breath

While brushing your tongue does help with halitosis, it’s not always enough. There are several other things you should do to fight bad breath and keep your smile dazzling. 

  1. Maintain a good oral care routine that features brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. This routine is also important for children and infants
  2. Eat more healthy foods like apples. The water and fiber in fresh fruits and vegetables help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
  3. Stay away from alcohol and tobacco, which dry out your mouth and allow the bacteria that cause bad breath to thrive.


Treatment for Halitosis Prescott, Arizona

If you have added brushing your tongue to your routine but your breath is still smelly, you should consult a dentist. Some forms of halitosis can be caused by tooth decay or other oral health issues. Sometimes getting a cleaning can also help you manage bad breath, by giving you a clean slate to start a new oral care routine. 

The team at Hicks Dental Group can help you figure out the cause of your bad breath, and provide you with a detailed cleaning to get you started on the right track. Visiting your dentist twice a year is always important, whether your breath smells or not. If you’re due for an exam and cleaning, contact us today to make an appointment.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/13/23).Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.