Harmful bacteria can accumulate on the surface of your tongue that can lead to bad breath, altered taste and colour changes. The surface of your tongue is not smooth; there are many microscopic grooves and valleys created by the tiny papilla, or taste buds, that are spanning your tongue from the tip to the back near your throat. Much like around your gums, plaque can accumulate between these taste buds and needs to be cleaned out regularly.
There are two main options for tools to help you keep your tongue clean. You can use either a toothbrush (either the bristles of the toothbrush or sometimes toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the bristles’ flip side) or a designated tongue cleaner, which can either have bristles or corrugated plastic.
Whichever type of tongue cleaner you are using, they are generally used in the same way. Start with accessing the back of your tongue with the tongue cleaner. Then sweep the bristles (or the corrugated plastic) from the back of your tongue forward. This motion will have to be repeated several times before the tongue cleaner comes out clean. It is essential to rinse/clean the tongue cleaner between each sweep to remove the plaque that has come off your tongue. Ensure your tongue cleaner is cleaned off adequately between use and store it in the same way as your toothbrush. It is recommended to clean your tongue daily.
Benefits of a Clean Tongue