In your quest for oral health excellence, you no doubt pay plenty of attention to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but how important is your tongue in your oral hygiene endeavors? Your body’s strongest muscle does more than help you speak clearly and eat properly; it also houses much of the germs that cause tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health issues. To help you maximize your dental hygiene routine, Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, explains the need to keep your tongue clean.
Oral Health and Your Tongue
At any given moment, even while you read this, there are about 10-15 billion bacteria in your mouth. Since you probably don’t spend every waking moment locked in an intense battle with these germs, underestimating their importance is easy. However, the most destructive oral health issues, including advanced tooth decay and severe periodontitis (gum disease) begin with excessive bacteria accumulation. When enough germs are present, they band together to form a sticky extracellular substance (what we know as dental plaque). This biofilm protects the germs and helps them adhere to the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day helps control the bacterial population, but half of those billions of oral bacteria reside on your tongue.
Cleaning Your Tongue
Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush can help keep your tongue clean, but your toothbrush was meant to clean a solid, sturdy surface—your teeth. Your tongue, however, is not solid, and a toothbrush can only achieve so much on such a spongy surface. A tongue scraper, however, is designed specifically for clearing your tongue’s surface of saliva, food debris, and (most importantly) oral bacteria. One of the more immediate benefits of a cleaner tongue is fresher breath. Among the germs on your tongue, some of them are responsible for foul-smelling breath. Consequently, removing these microbes from your tongue will also help you conquer your bad breath.
The Importance of Clean Tongue with Braces
If you have, or will have, braces, then cleaning your tongue becomes even more important. The metal brackets and wires of your braces can make proper dental hygiene a challenge. Your tongue, however, is not encumbered by the apparatus, and therefore remains easy to clean. If you adequately clean your tongue with a tongue scraper during your orthodontic treatment, you can reduce the amount of oral bacteria by around 50%, increasing your chances of maintaining a healthy mouth. To learn more about keeping your teeth, tongue, and braces clean and healthy, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 to schedule a consultation with your Lake Worth orthodontist. Located in the 76135 area, we proudly serve families from Lake Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Lake Worth, and all surrounding communities.