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Most people know they should brush their teeth every morning and evening, but surprisingly, many people do not know they should also brush their tongue to eliminate bad breath and harmful bacteria. Recent scientific evidence reports that in addition to tooth brushing and oral rinsing, tongue cleaning should be an essential part of oral health care.
An early 20th century researcher recommended daily tongue cleaning when it was found that the tongue was a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. A clean tongue should be a healthy pink color; a whitish haze on the tongue is indicative of bacterial buildup. To clean your tongue, you can use a toothbrush or specialized tongue brush. Start as far back as possible and then make brush strokes using an outward motion, toward the front of your mouth. Use some pressure, but not enough to irritate your tongue.
To further combat bad breath, schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup. It may be helpful to the dentist to keep a log of the foods you eat and make a list of medications you take because some medications play a role in creating mouth odors. Dentists are experts at treating bad breath, and you may be surprised at how quickly you can eliminate an embarrassing condition that you’ve had for years.