You brush your teeth every night, right? You floss. A little mouthwash. You do everything you are supposed to do. Yet, your breath is less than pleasant, and you still have cavities.
What’s going on?
Maybe it’s your tongue.
If you are not brushing your tongue as a part of your regular dental home care habits, then you are putting your mouth at risk. Your tongue is a vital component to your oral health. Not only is your tongue the strongest muscle in our body, it is absolutely necessary for healthy teeth and gums, not to mention it’s role in communication and eating.
At Andrew Dine, DDS, we respect and understand the importance of the tongue. If you want clean teeth, you have to have a clean tongue. At our office in Fairfield, we provide top notch dental care, and we want that dental care to continue at home. So give your tongue the respect it deserves, and keep it clean.
A Haven for Bacteria
Most the problems that occur with your oral health are the result of bacteria. Brushing and flossing twice a day will keep the bacteria off of your teeth. Unfortunately, that bacteria often ends up on your tongue. Your tongue is a catch all for everything going on inside your mouth. The food particles and bacteria that get brushed off your teeth end up on your tongue, and with your tongue’s near constant moving throughout your mouth, that stuff just ends up back on your teeth.
The only way to fully protect your teeth is to brush your tongue along with your teeth. Brushing your tongue may be uncomfortable if you are not used to it, but using the right techniques will make it easier to do.
First of all, make sure you are brushing from side to side and not back and forth. This will get the bacteria off of your tongue without irritating your gag reflex. Also, brushing this way will keep you from accidentally injuring the back of your throat. If you find brushing your teeth uncomfortable, then try exhaling deeply as you brush your tongue. This will override your gag reflex and stop your from experiencing the choking sensation that is common with brushing your tongue.
Whatever technique you decide to use or not use, the important thing is that you do not ignore the importance your tongue plays in keeping your mouth healthy and clean.
Freshen Your Breath
If you have a problem with bad breath, your tongue could be the culprit. Brushing your teeth will certainly help, but again, if you are not getting your tongue, as well, then your mouth is not getting clean. It all goes back to bacteria. Not only does bacteria cause tooth decay, it also causes bad breath.
Although bad breath is not necessarily a health issue, it is not something to be ignored. For one thing, bad breath could be symptom of a more serious issue, like tooth decay or gum disease. Also, if bacteria is collecting on your tongue enough to cause bad breath, there is a good chance that bacteria will end up on your teeth and gums where it can do more damage than just bad breath.
Mouthwash alone will not solve the problem of bad breath. At best, it will just cover it up. So, make sure you are brushing your teeth and tongue with a fluoride toothpaste to get rid of bacteria and strengthen your teeth, and then use minty mouthwash for a little extra breath freshening.
Avoid Dry Mouth
Your tongue, combined with saliva, is actually pretty effective at keeping your teeth clean. Because your tongue is always moving around inside your mouth, it spreads saliva, which will loosen food particles and fight bacteria. But if your mouth is not producing saliva, then this process doesn’t work.
There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing dry mouth, from smoking, to taking medication, to simple dehydration. The important thing to remember is that you need to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water is probably the most important thing you can do for your oral health. It will rinse harmful acid and bacteria off of your teeth and out of your mouth, and then provide the hydration your body needs to produce saliva.
A moist mouth and clean tongue are instrumental in protecting the health of your teeth and gums. Andrew Dine, DDS will help with your home health habits and make sure your are taking proper care of your tongue, so that your tongue can take care of your teeth.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Fairfield office for an examination.