When we think of a solid dental hygiene routine, our minds usually go to our thorough brushing and flossing rituals, right? While this is all well and good, it does mean that we’re missing one key component of our mouths during our oral health regimen: our tongue! To make sure you’re keeping your entire mouth in good health, it is important to take good care of your tongue, as well. Here are a few things you can do each day to ensure your tongue remains clean and healthy.
Clean your tongue every day.
Did you know that there are about 20 million bacteria in your mouth at all times? A majority of these bacteria live on your tongue. While some of these bacteria are good, the others are not so much. That’s why it is important to clean your tongue each time you brush your teeth. To do so, try using a tongue scraper or even just your toothbrush. Be sure to gently reach all the way to the back of the tongue (without triggering your gag reflex) to get the germs that could be hiding there as well.
We all know that smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products is bad for your health. However, did you know that smoking can impact your tongue in a significant—and permanent!—way? Smoking changes the shape of your taste buds. They become flatter, making your papillae less capable of allowing you to taste and enjoy your food. Smokers are also at increased risk of oral cancer, which can present as a firm ulcer on your tongue and harm your ability to speak and taste.
You know the feeling: you haven’t had water in a while and your tongue feels dry as a desert. When you don’t drink enough water, your body stops producing saliva and causes this uncomfortable feeling. This means you don’t have enough fluids in your mouth to perform important tasks like washing away bacteria that lingers in your mouth (especially on the tongue). Without saliva, these harmful bacteria have free reign to wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Therefore, always having a water bottle on hand can have a significant impact on your oral health.
Visit your dentist every six months.
While you may think your dentist only focuses on your teeth, they actually do a lot more to protect your oral health! During your routine check-up, your dentist checks your entire mouth for signs of disease like oral cancer or gum disease. They’ll provide a thorough teeth cleaning to rid your mouth of plaque and tartar, and make sure your mouth is free and clear of any oral health concerns.
To keep your entire mouth in good health, call Hinsdale Dental to schedule your next dentist appointment!Return to Blog