DGOI, Aesthetic , M.Sc - Master of Oral Implantology (MOI), MDS - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, BDS
Your tongue not only helps you in tasting, kissing, chewing or talking, but also helps in maintaining good oral health and hygiene. Since your tongue is exposed to a lot of bacteria and acid while you eat, taking proper care of it is of utmost importance. Not doing so can lead to the development of a whitish layer over your tongue, along with giving rise to bad breath. Not only that, an excess of bacteria on your tongue is harmful for your teeth and can cause tooth decay.
When you clean your tongue properly, you enhance your sense of taste and bid adieu to a host of oral health problems. Here are some handy tips on taking care of your tongue:
1. Cleaning your tongue every time you brush with a tongue cleaner can put an end to bacteria growth in your mouth. Make sure to use either a tongue cleaner or a toothbrush with a dedicated tongue cleaner to clean your tongue. Also, clean your tongue in a downward motion to expel all the accumulated bacteria, and never apply a lot of pressure when doing so.
2. Apply a thin layer of your toothpaste on your tongue before cleaning it. This makes removing bacteria from your tongue that much easier.
3. After every time you're done cleaning your tongue, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. Also, make sure to use a mouthwash once in a while, as that keeps foul odour at bay. Although, using a mouthwash daily is not advised as it can cause dryness in the mouth.
4. A saline water solution to rinse your mouth can keep your tongue clean. All you need is a glass of lukewarm water with half a teaspoon of salt for this.
5. Drinking green tea is particularly good for your tongue as it reduces the bacteria in your mouth to a great extent, preventing various oral health problems as a result.
6. Foods that are high on natural or added colours (such as berries, black grapes or orange ice popsicles) should be avoided as they leave a thin layer of color behind on your tongue, which can mar its appearance.
7. Sometimes, a whitish layer on your tongue can be a sign of a fungal infection, in which case you should go for a professional clean-up.
8. Drinking lots of water is good for your tongue as it helps in washing out all the accumulated food and bacteria. Also, discoloration of the tongue can often be caused by dehydration, which is why drinking adequate amounts of water that is 10-12 glasses a day is vital.