You already know that brushing and flossing your teeth every day is essential to the health of your mouth. But are you missing an important step between the two? Many people are. It’s not talked about as much as brushing and flossing, but cleaning the tongue is also a critical part of dental health.

While the anterior part of the tongue is smooth and bathed in saliva (a natural antibacterial rinse), the posterior part of the tongue has bumps and ridges that can hide odor-causing food debris and dead cells. Unless you deliberately brush or scrape the tongue, you will allow it to be a breeding ground for oral bacteria (and bad breath).

To cleanse the tongue with a toothbrush, start at the back of the tongue and brush forward. This method is effective, but it may cause some people to gag. If that’s the case, consider using a tongue scraper–an inexpensive plastic tool you can buy at the supermarket.

Apply the scraper as far back on the tongue as you can and gently pull forward. Your tongue will feel and look dry afterwards. Once you finish, be sure to rinse your mouth and the scraper with water.

Taking this one extra step will add less than a minute to your routine, and yet does so much in your fight against bad breath.

Have you been to the dentist this year? A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe is accepting new patients, and for a limited time we are offering a free facial or microdermabrasion treatment when a new patient schedules a cleaning. Contact or call us today to get started!