We already know that bacteria and food debris collect on and between the teeth but this can also happen on the surface of the tongue.
The surface of your tongue is covered in tiny bumps called papillae and bacteria, dead skin cells and food debris collect between the grooves of these bumps. This is then covered by a thin layer of mucus. The bacteria and other debris trapped on the tongue can cause bad breath, or halitosis.
Why Should I Be Cleaning my Tongue?
Bad breath is one of the most embarrassing ailments. Bacteria hiding under mucus and food debris on the surface of the tongue cause your breath to smell unpleasant no matter how much you brush and floss.
Mucus or post nasal drip ends up on your tongue and forms a thick coating which clog up your taste buds. If this happens, then food can taste different or strange or can have no taste at all. Scraping your tongue morning and night will enhance the taste of your food and drink.
The digestion of food starts in the mouth. Keeping your saliva flowing nicely – which means a clean tongue and a keeping your mouth hydrated – will ensure the digestion process is started off correctly. Saliva contains bacteria which fight bad breath and it also contains enzymes that start breaking down your food.
Your tongue is one of the easiest places for toxins to get into your system. Regular scraping gets rid of these toxins and bacteria before they get a chance to get into your system.
How do I Clean my Tongue?
We personally feel that the best way to get a clean tongue is to gently brush your tongue with a suitable tongue brush then scrape it gently with a tongue scraper. Then use your mouthwash after scraping. If you scrape as far back as you can, you may get a gag reflex initially then it should subside. Don't forget the sides of your tongue too!